15 new community cases, exact chain of transmission from index case remains unclear after investigation

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Sep 2021, 12:40PM

15 new community cases, exact chain of transmission from index case remains unclear after investigation

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Sep 2021, 12:40PM

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Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield provided an update on case numbers and the Crowne Plaza

  • There are 15 new community cases today, all in Auckland, bringing the total outbreak to 855. 
  • 37 cases in hospital, 6 in ICU, 4 being ventilated. 
  • One cases has been reclassified as a border case, there is also 1 new case in MIQ. 
  • The number of unlinked cases is now 25, but only two of today's cases are yet to be linked. 
  • Of just over 38,000 contacts, Bloomfield said 87% had had a test. 
  • There were 13,230 tests processed, with 8566 in Auckland. "In many respects, that's the most important number," Bloomfield said of testing numbers in Auckland. 
  • Bloomfield said five of the 20 cases yesterday were infectious in the community. 
  • He said people could leave their homes in Auckland to get vaccinated, but that shouldn't involve leaving the Auckland boundary for most people, such as those who live near the boundary and would normally cross it to get vaccinated. 
  • More than 4 million doses of the vaccine have now been administered. 
  • Hipkins said 2.6m Kiwis have now had their first dose, while 1.3m are fully vaccinated 
  • Hipkins confirmed 702 cases in the current outbreak have no vaccine recorded, 115 have had one dose and 38 have had two doses.
  • Hipkins reminded everyone that record keeping was now mandatory, and using QR codes was the easiest way to do that. "It will be hugely beneficial for us if we need to contact you." 
  • Since May everyone at MIQ have been invited to take a survey on their stay. Hipkins said over 90% said they had been treated fairly. 
  • The survey also indicated that the booking system has been a source of frustration for many. 
  • The virtual lobby and more notice of when MIQ vouchers would be released would help, he said, and the Government was looking to increase MIQ capacity. 
  • Hipkins also provided an update on the investigation into the Crowne Plaza, saying the Crowne Plaza had been subjected to extensive reviews, but the exact chain of transmission from the person thought to be the index case remains unclear. 
  • There was a less than 1% chance that it came via someone standing in the lobby, and there was no rationale for shutting the atrium. 
  • Work was being done to improve the atrium and the public walkway next to the exercise area, he said, which would help alleviate public concerns. 
  • How arrivals are processed is also being looked at, but he was satisfied that the Crowne Plaza will be reopened to accept returnees tomorrow. 
  • The risk will never be zero, but expert advice was that it was "negligible". 
  • Hikpkins couldn't guarantee there wouldn't be another outbreak caused by a leak from an MIQ facility but said health teams did all they could to investigate and remediate any problems they discovered. "It may well still remain a mystery," he said of how the virus leaked from MIQ to the community.