Case numbers jump to 45, but most were 'expected' and isolating while infectious

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 29 Sep 2021, 12:37PM

Case numbers jump to 45, but most were 'expected' and isolating while infectious

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 29 Sep 2021, 12:37PM

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield provided an update on Covid-19 in the community. 

  • There are 45 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today bringing the total number in the outbreak to 1230. 986 are recovered. 
  • 33 of these cases are known contacts, had been isolating and were expecting 
  • 12 cases are unlinked but 6 have suspected links  
  • There has been a slight increase in testing in Tauranga, Bloomfield says please get tested and vaccinated 
  • Surveillance testing is being extended in Auckland in multiple industries like construction and retail, which operate in alert level 3, which will identify any chains of transmission. It is also not required to isolate after a test without symptoms. 
  • One person attended Waitakere Hospital on Saturday 25th of September. They returned a positive test yesterday. Some staff had been stood down and a small number of patients were being followed up. 
  • Hipkins said 78% of the eligible population had had their first shot. 
  • In the last 7 days, 200,000 people had had their second shot, bringing the total across NZ to 1.8 million 
  • He said there would be a peak of second doses in the second week of October. 
  • As of midnight tomorrow, all border workers who might come into contact with Covid will have to be vaccinated. 98% have had their first dose and 93% have had their second dose. 
  • Cabinet has also signed off on a new MIQ facility in Christchurch, which will add another 85 rooms. 
  • Expressions of interest for the self-isolation trial will open at 9am tomorrow. 
  • Members must be within 50km within Auckland and Christchurch airport by road. 
  • Those isolating will have to provide their own supplies and will be monitored. They will be charged $1000 for transport and other costs, which Hipkins points out is less than they would be charged for MIQ. 
  • They must have a negative predeparture test before returning to New Zealand. 
  • Asked whether people should be prepared for longer periods in current alert levels, Hipkins said it was important to remember the nature of cases was a chief aspect in informing alert level shifts. However, he said the number of household contacts pointed to the nature of this outbreak where it was very transmissible "I would encourage people to not read too much into it." He said. 
  • Hipkins said the contact tracing system appeared to be working given the number of cases which were isolating at home when infectious. 
  • Bloomfield said there had been a lot of engagement with gang leadership after infections had been revealed in three separate households. However, he said they weren't seeing many new cases in these households.
  • Regarding the police officer who drove through alert levels, Hipkins said it was a matter for police but there was an expectation they followed the same rules as the public however, he wouldn't comment further.