For the most up to date information on COVID-19 please refer to the Ministry of Health Website
Click here for the 30th September Media release
16 September 2020There is one new case of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today, detected in a recent returnee in a managed isolation facility. There are no new community cases.
Today’s new case is a woman in her 30s who arrived from Dubai on September 9, who is related to the three cases reported yesterday.
We are today reporting the death of a man who had COVID-19. The man was in his 50s and was a confirmed case of COVID-19 linked to the Auckland cluster. The man was admitted to Waikato Hospital on August 19 and was transferred to ICU on August 26. Sadly, he passed away yesterday afternoon.
The man’s whanau has asked us to tell the country that “coronavirus is so real”, and to be very vigilant and cautious. They have issued a plea to all New Zealanders: “if you are sick and have symptoms, stay home”.
This man’s death again emphasises the seriousness of the virus and the consequences it can have. There have now been 25 COVID-19 related deaths in New Zealand.
Our thoughts are with this man’s family and friends during this difficult time as they mourn the loss of their loved one. They have requested privacy as they grieve, and we ask that that is respected.
Today there are three people in hospital with COVID-19. One is in isolation on a ward in Auckland City Hospital. Two people are in ICU - one in North Shore Hospital and one person in Middlemore.
There are 57 people linked to the community cluster who remain in the Auckland quarantine facility, which includes 27 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their household contacts.
Since August 11, our contact tracing team has identified 4,139 close contacts of cases, of which 4,046 have been contacted and are self-isolating, and we are in the process of contacting the rest.
With today’s new case and four additional recovered cases, our total number of active cases is 79.
Of those, 27 are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 52 are community cases.
Our total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is now 1,451, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.
Yesterday our laboratories processed 9,088 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 881,532.
Healthcare workerAn update now on the case of the healthcare worker from the quarantine facility who had tested positive for COVID-19.
The worker had earlier been genomically linked to cases that were completing isolation at the facility, and we have now established the epidemiological link.
The link has been identified to one of the community cases at the quarantine facility who required hospitalisation and was assessed and assisted by the healthcare worker.
A review is underway of the circumstances around the situation to ensure lessons are learnt and any improvements to processes are made.
Our national contact tracing system has recorded 85 close contacts identified from the three gym classes at Les Mills Takapuna – they have all been contacted and are self-isolating. To date, our system has recorded 80 of those close contacts as having returned a negative test result.
There have been 195 casual contacts identified from the gym classes – of which 91 have been tested and returned a negative result.
These numbers will continue to change as follow up calls are made and more information is gathered and assessed in our investigations.
NZ COVID Tracer There are now 2,222,200 users registered on NZ COVID Tracer.
The app has recorded a total of 60,801,150 poster scans, and users have created 2,939,892 manual diary entries in NZ COVID Tracer.
There have been 371,085 QR codes created to be displayed around the country.
Kia ora koutou
Thank you for your efforts over the last two weeks in response to the Auckland cluster.
Please read and follow the updated guidance on who to test for COVID-19, to ensure we continue to identify community cases and do not have any undetected cases.
As signalled earlier today, the aim is to complete 70,000 tests across the country over the next week, with 30% of testing to occur outside of Auckland.
To date community testing has focussed on symptomatic people. Given the high rates of testing over the last two weeks and the low rates of influenza-like illnesses, community testing over the coming week will include surveillance testing of asymptomatic people. This is similar to what happened when we moved down alert levels earlier in the year.
The essential groups for testing remain unchanged and you should continue to encourage all patients presenting with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to be tested, irrespective of region.
I have asked DHBs to operate ‘pop-up’ testing facilities across the country for additional testing of asymptomatic people.
As always, testing should be free with costs coded in line with previous Ministry advice.
Thank you for your continued and ongoing support as we work together to eliminate COVID-19.
Nga mihi nui,
Dr Ashley Bloomfield
Director General of Health
Kia ora koutou,
See the below update from Dr Ashley Bloomfield outlining guidance on testing for COVID-19 in the short term.
Please note, advice for asymptomatic surveillance testing in the community is attached.
Letter on expectations for testing