Saturday, November 27

Covid-19 lockdown day 4: how it unfolded

Twenty-one new cases were announced today and the numbers are expected to increase next week; they spat on a security guard in a supermarket; students at two Auckland schools test positive and the Wallabies coach is furious with the All Blacks.

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From top left: a daily record number of vaccinations and tests; Unhappy Wallabies coach Dave Rennie and a security guard scare at a Christchurch supermarket.
Photo: AFP / RNZ / Photosport

Three of the new cases are in Wellington, while the rest are in Auckland. It means that the current outbreak now amounts to 51.

A University of Auckland student who tested positive has been linked to a dance held at the Aotea Center on August 14, reportedly attended by up to 500 students, as well as elsewhere.

The student traveled to Wellington on Thursday to stay with his family. Students at Waipārūrū Hall, where the student lived, isolate themselves in their rooms.

A bus driver linked to Royal Oak Middle School in Auckland tested positive and contact trackers are working to identify the students who were on the bus as they are considered close contacts.

The Go Bus driver was at the Onehunga evening race last Monday from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Two South Auckland high schools have each confirmed that one of their students tested positive.

McAuley High School Catholic Girls’ High School in Ōtāhuhu and De La Salle College Catholic Boys High School in Māngere have students who tested positive for Covid-19 and were in school when they were infected on August 17.

More than 1,000 staff members and students are now considered close contacts and must be isolated at home for 14 days.

McAuley High School in Ōtāhuhu, South Auckland.

Photo: google maps

Contacts are expected to be 10,000

At a press conference today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she still expected the cases to increase until next week before they began to decline.

The Health Ministry expects there to be 10,000 close contacts of the current group by tonight.

Public Health Director Caroline McElnay said most of those contacts are in the Auckland and Waikato regions, with a small proportion in the rest of the North Island and South Island.

He said public health personnel are quickly interviewing the cases to find out how they became infected and to determine more details of their movements.

“They are working tirelessly to investigate the cases.”

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Director of Public Health Caroline McElnay
Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Meanwhile, several new locations of interest in Wellington and a second flight to the city in question have also been announced today.

Locations include supermarkets in Kilbirnie and Newtown, while a second flight to Wellington was added, flight NZ443 from 4.30 to 5.30 p.m. Thursday. Several service stations have also been added between Auckland and Wellington, including stations at Bulls, Waiorou and Tokoroa.

A full list can be seen at the website of the Ministry.

Test for the security guard

A security guard at Countdown Church Corner in Christchurch is being screened for Covid-19 after a customer spat at him after being denied entry.

Countdown spokeswoman Kiri Hannifin said the incident occurred yesterday and was incredibly disappointing.

She said the 58-year-old man, who had previously been invaded by abusive behavior, was denied entry to the store for not covering his face.

He then reportedly spat on the security guard and refused to leave, prompting a call from the police.

He has been charged with assault, death threat, resisting arrest and has been issued a notice of violation for a violation related to Covid-19.

Since the lockdown began, 17 people have been charged with 20 crimes. Eleven are for not complying with a Covid-19 order, seven for not complying with an instruction, prohibition and restriction and two for infractions of the Health Law.

In addition, the police have issued 53 formal warnings and there have been 70 infractions across the country, including 61 people who did not stay home and five people who did not cover their faces.

Vaccines and tests

The country reached two records yesterday: the highest number of vaccines (56,843) and tests (41,464).

Ardern said 72 percent of New Zealanders over 40 are registered or have been vaccinated with at least one dose.

“This is great progress,” Ardern said.

Yesterday more than 150,000 vaccination reservations were made.

Additional test sites have been established in Auckland and Wellington, including dedicated contact centers.

This is expected to reduce people’s waiting times, the prime minister said.

The traffic management staff is busy at the Avondale test center.

A man helps with traffic management at a test center at Avondale in Auckland.
Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

Dr McElnay said that Covid-19 had also been found in sewage tests at Warkworth, north of Auckland. Additional testing of wastewater from Warkworth and Snells Beach is being taken today and tomorrow.

There are 41 sites across the country where wastewater testing is done. Covid-19 continues to be detected in Auckland’s wastewater.

Anger at the absence of the All Blacks

Coach Dave Rennie says he is “very angry” that New Zealand canceled the teams’ Bledisloe Cup game without telling the Wallabies.

The All Blacks will not travel to Perth for the August 28 game due to Covid-19 restrictions.

“I’m very angry. All of our boys found out through social media,” Rennie said.

“I thought ‘New Zealand Rugby didn’t even have the respect to consult Rugby Australia on their decision,’ so that’s hugely disappointing.”

Meanwhile, South African Rugby has confirmed that it has offered to host the remainder of the Rugby Championship.

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