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167 Covid cases, two further deaths as virus spreads to Tauranga, Palmerston North

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 18 Nov 2021, 12:23PM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

167 Covid cases, two further deaths as virus spreads to Tauranga, Palmerston North

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 18 Nov 2021, 12:23PM

There are 167 Covid-19 cases in the community today and two further people have died with the virus. 

A woman in her 80s has died at Middlemore Hospital. And a man in his 90s has died in North Shore Hospital. He was a resident at the Edmonton Meadows Care Home. 

"The man had a number of underlying health conditions and was receiving appropriate ward-level care after being admitted earlier this month with Covid-19." 

There are 85 people in hospital including six in ICU. 

Hospitalisations include people at North Shore (19); Middlemore (26); Auckland (35); Waitakere (1); Whangarei (1) and Waikato (3). 

There are new cases today in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Mid Central and Canterbury. A case announced in Lakes DHB yesterday is officially reported in today's figures, the Ministry of Health's statement said. 

The continued spread of Covid-19 to regions throughout New Zealand is a reminder that everyone needs to heed the advice that will help keep our communities as safe as possible, the Ministry said. 

"That includes ensuring you and your loved ones are fully vaccinated if eligible, that you wear a mask, keep a safe distance from people outside your bubble, and keep track of your movements outside your home." 

The cases in Northland are widespread and the Ministry of Health is urging people to get tested. 

Of the five cases in Northland, two are in Dargaville, one in Whangârei, one in the Far North and one in Kaikohe. All of the cases are linked. 

There are 140 new cases in Auckland and people in the city with symptoms, no matter how mild, are urged to get tested – even if they are vaccinated. 

Public health staff are supporting 5010 people to isolate at home around Auckland - this includes 2238 cases. 

Five people at the Rosaria Rest Home in Auckland's Avondale have now tested positive with Covid. 

Canterbury update 

There are two new cases in Christchurch. One was announced yesterday and is being officially added to case numbers today. 

The other is a household contact of the first case and is already in isolation. The second case will be added to the case tally tomorrow, as details came in after the cut-off period. 

"We also continue to advise passengers on flight NZ1295 from Auckland to Christchurch on Saturday 13 November to get a test today, if they haven't already, and monitor for symptoms for the next 10 days, following the two current Christchurch cases travelling on the flight prior to testing positive." 


There are 17 new cases of Covid in Waikato, including several that were only confirmed this morning meaning location and contact tracing information is still being gathered. 
There are three cases receiving care at Waikato Hospital. 

In the Waikato region, public health staff are supporting 290 people to isolate at home, including 81 cases and 209 contacts. 

Tauranga cases 

There are two new cases in the Bay of Plenty - one in Mount Maunganui and the other is in Tauranga. The Tauranga case came in after the official 9am cut-off time for reporting and will be formally included in tomorrow's figures. 

"This follows further positive detections of Covid-19 reported yesterday in wastewater samples in both Tauranga and Mount Maunganui. 

"Interviews are continuing to determine case movements". 

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges said his office was aware of cases in Mount Manganui and Pyes Pā. 

"I had heard that that's the case. I think in the end this was inevitable, we're going to see this around New Zealand. That doesn't though mean it's not concerning and I acknowledge there'll be a lot of locals in Tauranga who will be concerned. 

"I think the best we can say is if you're not vaccinated, get onto it. If you've got symptoms, obviously get tested. In the end though, what's also true is life has to go on, and the people of Tauranga and the Western Bay are resilient. I think they will, in a no nonsense way, get on with it." 

Bridges said Covid-19 was first detected in the wastewater in the Tauranga area about a week ago, and said he felt it was possible there had been a positive case in the community for a week. 

Red Stag Investments Limited managing director Jason Cordes said there was a team member of Red Stag Wood Solutions in Taupō who tested positive for Covid-19. 

Cordes said the team member tested positive on Monday and had been on a road trip with a person from the Taupō cluster about one week before. The result was confirmed yesterday. 

"Everyone at Red Stag Wood Solutions has had no less than one vaccination," Cordes said. 

"Other members of the person's household have tested negative." 

Cordes said the Ministry of Health estimated the possible time of exposure for parties from Rotorua was approximately half an hour. 

"We've been told there is a low risk of contagion." 

The person has not shown any symptoms of Covid-19. 

Cordes said the staff at Red Stag Wood Solutions were following all instructions provided by the Ministry of Health. 

Cordes said the person became aware they were a contact sometime late last weekend. 
"The person does not live in Rotorua. They work in Rotorua." 

Cordes said the person came to work in Rotorua on Monday and notified management that they were a close contact. 

"At that point, they were directed immediately to leave and get a Covid test." 

Cordes said anyone who travelled and lived with this person had been tested and received negative results. 

"We are following protocols explicitly." 

The person who tested positive showed no symptoms and had received the first vaccine. 

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said he was surprised cases hadn't arrived earlier after they appeared in Rotorua and Waikato. 

"Each workplace has been planning, training and stocking up for when delta arrives," Cowley said. "Their planning will now be tested. 

"Many people in the Western Bay community are doing what they have been asked to do; they're vaccinated, they're contact tracing, and many businesses have established staff bubbles so cases won't take out entire workforces." 

Cowley thought the region would start the new traffic light framework under red status given the Bay of Plenty's relatively low vaccination level. 

"Businesses are preparing for the new traffic light framework and assessing whether they will require vaccine passes to stay open this summer," he said. 

"Employers should be preparing for staff to be required to isolate as case numbers will likely increase. Businesses can apply for funding from Government to help employees to isolate at home while they wait for testing or recover if they're infectious." 

Palmerston North case 

There are two new Covid-19 cases to announce in the Mid-Central DHB region including one in Ashhurst and one in Levin. Both people are likely to be linked to known cases. 

It brings the total number of cases in the region to four. These cases will be formally included in the region's total tomorrow as notification of the cases was received after the morning cut-off. 

Anyone with mild symptoms of Covid-19 across Horowhenua, Manawatû, and Tararua are encouraged to get tested and check the locations on interest on the Ministry of Health's website. 

A Palmerston North case was confirmed last night by the Manawatū Cricket Association after a player caught it. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admits people will be worried about Covid spreading across the country as news breaks of more centres dealing with cases in the community. 

Ardern, speaking to media this morning after a visit to the Turanga Health centre in Gisborne, said "we know there will be concern about [Covid's] movement, which is why we have put in extra layers of protection". 

She said the requirements for vaccination or a test before people left Auckland to go to regions such as Gisborne would help. 

On allowing Aucklanders to travel to lower vaccinated regions, she said: "Auckland have done a very important job for us, but they have now been doing that for four months. We need to keep moving." 

Ardern is visiting to try to help raise vaccination rates in Tairawhiti, one of the regions lagging behind. It is currently at 84 per cent for first doses. 

There are now cases in Auckland, Waikato, Northland, Canterbury, Lakes District/Taupō, Wairarapa and Manawatū and Bay of Plenty. 

Yesterday there were 88 people in hospital and seven in ICU. The virus also claimed another person after a man, in his 60s, died at North Shore Hospital on Tuesday. 

Of yesterday's 194 cases, there were 180 cases in Auckland, four in Northland, five in Waikato, seven in Lakes District and one in Canterbury. 

The person infected with Covid in Canterbury flew back to Christchurch on flight NZ 1295 last Saturday, November 13, after travelling to Auckland for an event. 

The person became symptomatic on Sunday and went for a test on Monday and lives in a household of six people. The household is isolating and will be tested. 

Of the seven cases in Lakes DHB, one of them was reported following the 9am cut off time and will be included in today's case count. 

Six of the Lakes DHB cases are in Taupō and can be linked to known cases in the area. One case is in Turangi and is also linked to known cases in Taupō. 

In Waikato, two cases are from Ōtorohanga, one from Te Kuiti, one from Huntly, and one from Cambridge and came as the region enjoyed its first day back in level 2 yesterday. 

Ardern confirmed Aucklanders who were fully vaccinated or test negative 72 hours before departure will be able to leave the city from December 15. The rule will be in place from then to January 17. 

Ardern also said Cabinet would confirm Auckland's move into the covid protection system/traffic light system into the Red level on November 29. 

Ardern indicated the move to the new system would be very soon after the November 29 Cabinet meeting and would be a similar timeframe to level transitions as they have been in the past. 

Many hospitality and hair and beauty businesses have been preparing themselves for a December 1 re-opening 

The rest of the country will move into the traffic light system at the same time as Auckland, the Government will confirm at that meeting. 

Areas with lower vaccination areas will be moved into the red level to protect people and promote vaccinations. 

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