Saturday, December 4

Covid-19 Roundup for Sept 21: Request More Evidence as Auckland Lowers Alert Levels

Auckland is preparing to lower an alert level as residents of more suburbs are asked to get tested, and an increase in violation fees looms.

Covid-19 wrap for September 21, 2021

Photo: RNZ, 123rf

At 11:59 p.m. tonight, Auckland goes to Covid-19 alert level 3.

Upper Hauraki is designated to be on a level 4 lockdown until Friday after the discovery of four community cases in the area, which are all connected.

The rest of New Zealand remains at alert level 2.

Need for more tests

People from the suburbs of Mt Eden, Massey, Māngere, Favona, Papatoeotoe, Ōtara, Manurewa are asked to get tested if they have mild symptoms.

Clover Park has been identified as an area of ​​concern because multiple residents tested positive.

Everyone who lives in the suburb is asked to get tested, regardless of symptoms.

“Based on a set of cases that we have in Clover Park between which we believe there is a geographic relationship, we are asking everyone in Clover Park to get tested. This is a rigorous and cautious approach,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

Today a new pop-up test site has opened at the Manukau Sports Bowl.

Infringement fines increase

Breaking Covid-19 restrictions will now mean increased infringement fees.

On-site violation notification fees were initially set at $ 300 for individuals, but will increase to $ 4,000 and $ 12,000 for businesses.

The fines imposed by the courts will increase to a maximum of $ 12,000 for individuals and $ 15,000 for businesses.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said examples of violations would include not wearing a face shield in places where it is mandatory.

The fine for a criminal offense will increase from $ 4000 to $ 12,000 or six months in prison, with an additional fee of up to $ 15,000 introduced for businesses.

Criminal offenses could include traveling without permission or traveling for a purpose other than permitted, from an area of ​​alert level 4 or 3 to alert level 2.

Funeral exemptions

People will be able to cross a border at alert level 3 for tangi, funerals, attend or visit a dying relative, or accompany a tūpāpaku or deceased person.

It will only be for direct family members and people must have a negative result 72 hours before crossing the limit. An application will need supporting evidence.

MIQ matters

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has defended the decision to attend the COP26 conference in Glasgow in November.

He and the returning delegation will receive special MIQ assignments upon their return; this will not affect the number of spaces available for emergencies.

National Covid-19 Party spokesman Chris Bishop describes MIQ’s new allocation system as “depressing and a debacle.”

More than 31,800 people tried to reserve the 3,000 MIQ seats available yesterday when the hiatus on new reservations was lifted.

Smaller classroom sizes

Beginning Wednesday morning, schools must reopen for children under the age of 14 whose caregivers must return to work, and high schools can also request permission to bring small groups of older students.

Any high school student returning to the classroom below level 3 in Auckland will have to wear a mask indoors.

Increased funding for Maori healthcare providers

The government has announced an additional $ 38 million to ensure that Maori healthcare providers provide continued support to their communities in the Covid-19 response.

Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says the money is in addition to the $ 23 million announced earlier this month to help with the response.

Henare says that Maori are one of the communities most at risk from Covid-19 and vaccination rates for Maori are below the general population.

He says Maori health providers know their communities and need funding to work with them.

By the numbers

Today 14 new community cases were reported, including one in Whakatīwai.

One of the cases is a man who snuck into North Shore Hosptial to visit a patient. The hospital has been examined and 20 staff members have been removed for testing after finding the man.

There are now a total of 1,085 cases in this outbreak, including 790 that have recovered.

There are 15 people hospitalized: one in the North Shore, four in Auckland and 10 in Middlemore. Four people are in ICU.

Approximately 3,118,082 people have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 1,644,597 their second dose.

Covid-19 around the world

Beginning in November, foreign travelers will be able to enter the US If fully vaccinated, they provide a negative Covid-19 test result within three days of travel and their contact information. They will not be asked to quarantine themselves.

Current rules prohibit entry to most non-US citizens who have been to the UK and other European countries, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil in the last 14 days.

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE say their Covid-19 vaccine induces a strong immune response in children ages five to 11, and they plan to apply for regulatory clearance as soon as possible to use the injection in children of that age range in the US. , Europe and other places.

Australia’s New South Wales state, the epicenter of the country’s worst coronavirus outbreak, reported 1,022 locally acquired cases today, up from 935 yesterday.

Greece will make a Covid-19 booster vaccine available to doctors and other medical personnel in the coming weeks.

India will resume vaccine exports in the October quarter, prioritizing the global vaccine exchange platform Covax and neighboring countries first as supplies increase.

– with additional reports from Reuters

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