Covid-infected wait 24 hours to enter Auckland's Jet Park as case numbers grow

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 25 Aug 2021, 10:51AM
The Jet Park quarantine facility in Auckland. (Photo / Alex Burton)
The Jet Park quarantine facility in Auckland. (Photo / Alex Burton)

Covid-infected wait 24 hours to enter Auckland's Jet Park as case numbers grow

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 25 Aug 2021, 10:51AM

Auckland's surging Covid infections are causing a backlog of sick people entering quarantine, with those testing positive waiting more than 24 hours to be admitted.

People who have tested positive in the latest Delta outbreak are still waiting in homes across Auckland a day after finding out positive test results and being contacted by public health officials.

A person who was contacted by public health officials yesterday morning to say they had the infection was told they were now part of a queue to get into Jet Park, Auckland's quarantine facility.

The infected man, who fell ill last Thursday after being at an exposure site just days before, was still waiting 24 hours for a phone call from the MIQ facility to arrange a ride from his home.

Another person connected to one of the first North Shore cases who tested positive, was contacted by health officials and told Jet Park was now full so he would have to wait another day while they sorted out somewhere else.

The Northern Region Coordination Centre has been approached for comment.

There are now 148 people with Covid in this current outbreak, 137 people in Auckland and 11 in Wellington.

Most of these cases have been identified in the past three days, with 97 new cases since Sunday.

This week Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins said an additional facility would be commissioned in Auckland to meet the growing number of cases.

The Holiday Inn near the Auckland Airport was being repurposed for people needing to isolate who couldn't do so at home.

The Covid outbreak, which forced the country into lockdown a week ago, has swept across Auckland, affecting at least seven schools as well as Auckland University and AUT.

Due to a number of potentially high-risk exposure sites and the extremely infectious nature of the virus, some 15,000 people have been deemed close contacts.

The current August outbreak compromises of several sub-clusters including a large Samoan church gathering, the Birkdale social gathering and two smaller groups.

Yesterday director general of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said a large proportion of cases were of Samoan ethnicity, mainly due to the sub-cluster of 58 cases linked to the Assembly of God Church of Samoa in Mangere.

As of 9am today there were 464 locations of interest associated with the outbreak.

The number of Covid cases is predicted to rise dramatically in coming days with just half of the highest-risk contacts having returned their test results.

The vast majority of these cases were infected prior to lockdown, but the Government is also unable to yet confirm if the virus has been spreading under lockdown.

Public Health director Dr Caroline McElnay yesterday revealed about half of the highest risk contacts were still yet to have their test results returned.

There were 369 close plus contacts, 51 per cent of whom had returned test results, and 11 per cent were positive, she said.

There were 14,967 close contacts, 56 per cent had returned test results, and 0.2 per cent were positive.

There are currently nine people in hospitals across Auckland with Covid. The Ministry of Health says eight are associated with the current outbreak with seven related to community transmission and one border-related.

New Zealand will remain at alert level 4 until 11.59pm on Friday, August 27 and Auckland will remain in alert level 4 until 11.59pm on Tuesday, August 31.