New Zealand recorded another 83 cases today, while epidemiologist Michael Baker warned that the country will not return to level 1 “as we know it.” Find out the latest news on Covid-19 in our daily roundup.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Chief Health Officer Dr. Ashley Bloomfield announced this afternoon that 83 more cases had been confirmed in the community, one more than yesterday’s total.
They reiterated that while New Zealand had acted “tough and early” in this outbreak, the healthcare system could not go it alone and everyone had to work together to make a difference.
Ardern said that three-quarters of the cases reported yesterday were contacts of known cases, but that “mysterious cases” were still being received.
Ardern said it was “deeply disturbing” that 34 people are in the hospital, including two in the ICU.
“… We know that Delta is more infectious, but we are seeing studies that tell us that it is more dangerous and, sadly, we are seeing it in our hospitalizations. It is another reason why we need everyone to act and behave as if they have Covid , and act and behave carefully. “
By the numbers
- Until 10 a.m. M., More than 32,000 contacts have been identified, including 29,560 close contacts and 784 “very close contacts.”
- To date, 453 of the cases are epidemiologically linked, and the remaining 58 links are being investigated.
- Twenty cases have been linked to Auckland University of Technology. Ardern says it has been difficult to contact track down this group
- More than 60 percent of the cases are less than 30 years old.
- Yesterday 23,139 swabs were processed. This is lower than in recent days, but many people in self-isolation will make it to the test on day 12.
Will NZ have to learn to live with Covid?
The initial model suggested that there would be about 120 cases in this outbreak, but epidemiologist professor Michael Baker said Sunday morning we are likely to see more than 1000 cases.
It is becoming increasingly clear that dozens of people were infected before the shutdown, leading to a higher number of infections than expected, he said.
It will be more difficult to maintain elimination in the long term, and it is critical that we increase the number of vaccines, Baker said.
“It can be difficult to get back to alert level 1 in New Zealand … I don’t think we will go back to level 1 as we know it.”
New Zealander Richard Webby, an infectious disease researcher at a US hospital, said that New Zealand’s takedown strategy is still the right decision, but that we would eventually have to learn to live with Covid.
“Sooner or later we will all get this. Whether it’s today, tomorrow, next year or a few years, we’re not sure, but it will definitely come,” he said.
“Elimination has worked for New Zealand on and off, but as a global strategy it is not a start, so this virus will be with us forever. At some point … I think this will end as a common cold or scenario of the flu, where we have to deal with it during the winter.
Rules for essential workers under the magnifying glass
Officials will look at whether workplaces operating at Level 4 can do so safely and effectively with current restrictions “with a Delta lens,” Ardern said.
Twenty-five people had exposure events outside the home, Ardern said of yesterday’s cases.
“To date we have been informed that the Ministry of Health analysis shows that these are generally essential workplaces and tend not to be customer-facing places. We have requested a more detailed analysis of the nature of these. workplaces, so that we can assess whether our level 4 rules about who is operating are being met, and whether our public health protocols for those companies that are operating are fit for purpose. “
There are four workplaces operating at Level 4 that have experienced on-staff transmission, he said.
“This may not be a problem with the rules, say, in the factory, but what is happening maybe before or after shifts, or even during breaks. We are looking at all this in more detail, if it is necessary to adjust we increase our restrictions, we will. “
Locations of interest in front of exhibition sites
Bloomfield said there is a difference between locations of interest and exhibition sites, the latter being sites that do not always need to be advertised, as sometimes everyone on the site can be identified and contacted.
This is the case at several sites associated with a positive case in a nursing home worker near Warkworth, at the southern end of the Northland boundary.
“None of the places are listed as places of interest, because everyone who was in those places has been able to be followed and traced, but just for their interest, they are the Amberlea Rest Home, which is already in the public domain, and I can say that Of the people who were in the facility who were in the dementia room where the worker worked there, they have all tested negative so far, which is great, “said Bloomfield.
“The other places were a medical center in Warkworth, but again anyone who was at the center at a time where they may have been exposed was followed up, and finally Southern Paprika, a great workplace, again all those that may have been exposed. ” exhibited there have been monitored. “
New locations of interest continue to be added to the Covid-19 website.
Case registration for NSW
New South Wales has recorded 1,218 Covid-19 cases in its update today. It is the largest number ever recorded by an Australian jurisdiction in a 24 hour period.
It also recorded six Covid deaths: three people in their 80s and three in their 70s.
Victoria recorded 92 new locally acquired cases as authorities grapple with a possible new emerging cluster inside Melbourne.
It is the highest daily count recorded in the state so far in 2021, and the highest number of cases recorded in a single day since 110 on September 2, 2020.
More support for mental health, homeless
There was an increase in calls to Youthline at the beginning of the shutdown, and the government injected $ 275,000, Ardern said. Today he announced that an additional $ 1 million would be earmarked for existing contracts and services to support rangatahi, particularly in Auckland and Northland.
Anyone can call 1737 for help or can contact Youthline at 0800-376-633 or by free text message at 234.
Specific mental health support is also available for Pacific Communities through 0800 OLA LELEI (0800-652-535).
Ardern said there was also ongoing support for people in need of emergency housing during the shutdown, with more motel units hired.
Auckland’s three district health boards are working closely with organizations to provide vaccines to the homeless, while an additional $ 7 million for food safety was announced yesterday, Ardern said.
“If you cannot afford food, call MSD at 0800-559-009 to see if you are eligible for assistance or to connect to other available forms of assistance.
“If you are at home in isolation or have trouble accessing food, you can ask family, friends and neighbors if they can help you deliver the food. Deliveries must be contactless and kept on site. There is no other way to access food, the army of student volunteers also has a grocery delivery service, visit www.shop.sva.org.nz “
Family violence and sexual violence services are considered essential services and continue to operate at level 4.
Maori Party opposes MIQ in Rotorua
The Maori Party has launched a petition calling for no more MIQ facilities in Rotorua.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment have confirmed that development of new MIQ facilities was being considered, including in Rotorua, despite opposition from the community.
Co-leader Rawiri Waititi said Lakes DHB has made clear that another facility in the city will put too much pressure on healthcare, and he feared Rotorua residents would miss it.
It was time for another region, like Queenstown, to step up, he said.
Meanwhile, a worker at a managed isolation facility tested positive for Covid-19.
The Health Ministry said an investigation was underway into how the Four Points by Sheraton staff member got infected, but they are potentially linked to the outbreak in the community.
Just over 100 people accused of violating the blocking rules
More than 100 people have been charged with violating current lockdown rules, but police are encouraging people to stay the course as long as alert level 4 restrictions remain in place.
Since Level 4 began, 103 people have been charged with a total of 111 crimes across the country as of 5 p.m. yesterday.
Among them was a woman in the Rodney area on Friday who did not cover her face in a supermarket and carried a forged document claiming she was exempt. A compliance patrol officer stopped and spoke to the woman, in her 20s.
A document you submitted claiming an exemption was examined and found to be forged. The charges under the Crimes Act and the breach of the Health Order are being considered.
“We know that spending more time under alert level 4 restrictions can be difficult, and people may be going through difficult situations right now,” Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said in a statement.
“The police are here to help and we will continue to respond to calls for service when there is concern for people’s safety.”
Cabinet will meet tomorrow to discuss current alert levels, with Level 3 starting in South Auckland at midnight Tuesday, but Auckland is expected to remain at Level 4 for another two weeks.