Saturday, November 27

Covid-19 in the spotlight: news for September 28

New cases of Covid-19 in the community dropped to single figures today, from 12 yesterday to eight.

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Photo: RNZ

Seven of the eight Auckland infections were existing case contacts and six were isolated during their infectious period.

There are currently 14 people in the hospital, three in the ICU or HDU.

The fall also saw an active subgroup effectively eliminated, reducing the number of subgroups in the city to three.

However, the good news was tempered by the fact that a new case was unrelated: a person who presented at Waitākere Hospital. That person was transferred to North Shore Hospital and remains isolated in a negative pressure room.

Five members of the emergency department staff at Waitākere Hospital have been removed. Eight patients are being treated as contacts.

Tauranga Sewage Positive Result

Director General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield

Photo: Pool / Things / Robert Kitchin

Health officials also announced a positive sample of the virus in Tauranga’s sewage that had been collected last Thursday.

More samples were taken from Tauranga and Mount Maunganui this morning, with additional samples taken from nearby areas.

Chief Health Officer Dr. Ashley Bloomfield said it could be a recovered case still shedding the virus or an undetected acute case.

Border movement rules

Addressing the media today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the rules governing people being allowed to leave Auckland for a level 2 environment as of 11:59 pm tonight.

Everyone leaving the city must have a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours prior to departure.

They must permanently leave property or travel to a tertiary education residence; for shared care arrangements and to return home from alert level 3 to an alert level 2 environment.

Those crossing the border alert boundary to provide shared care must be tested within seven days of each crossing. Everyone must bring proof of why they are traveling and must not be sick.

Self-isolation pilot welcome

Business leaders broadly welcomed a pilot plan that will allow those traveling abroad for business to forgo MIQ and isolate themselves at home.

With a limit of 150 people, it will be open for expressions of interest on Thursday.

New Zealand residents must arrive in New Zealand between October 30 and December 8, and final travelers must leave isolation by December 22.

Today, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson was asked about privacy issues related to monitoring participants using cell phones.

He said Morning report people were signing up voluntarily. “Nobody forces them to do it and, obviously, the terms and conditions of the trial are part of the signature,” he said.

Details on how the trial will be handled will be announced tomorrow.

Protest warning

Brian and Hannah Tamaki have launched the Coalition New Zealand party.

Brian Tamaki, leader of the Church of Destiny
Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

It was revealed today that Police Commissioner Andrew Coster warned Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki about a planned protest in Auckland this weekend.

Coster wrote that while the police respected the protest as part of democracy, that right must be weighed against the legality of the activity.

He warned that gathering for a protest, without complying with the law, carries the risk of transmission of Covid-19 and could lead to enforcement.

Officers return negative test results

Thirteen police officers who isolated themselves after an arrested woman tested positive for Covid-19 returned negative initial results today.

The custody unit at the Waitakere station, closed after Corrections reported the positive case on Sunday, reopened last night after a deep cleaning.

Covid-19 jab safe with other vaccines

New Zealanders can now receive most other vaccines before, after or at the same time as their Covid-19 vaccine, Public Health Director Dr. Caroline McElnay said today.

“The Covid-19 Technical Advisory Group (CV-TAG) has recommended that most routine vaccines, such as MMR, HPV, and the influenza vaccine, be given before, after, or at the same time as the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, no worries to space, “he said.

“The exception to this is the shingles vaccine, which has a recommended interval of seven days.”

More MIQ reservations up for grabs

Another 3,800 managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) reservations were available tonight using the government’s online virtual lobby system.

Last Monday, more than 30,000 people registered to try to get hold of one of the rooms on offer.

Tonight’s room launch started at 6pm and people could log into the MIQ portal starting at 5pm

The launch is for dates between October and December.

Air New Zealand added 31 “red” flights to its schedule in December for customers wishing to return from Australia by December 31st.

Seymour calls for an end to the elimination strategy

ACT leader David Seymour said today that the government’s Covid-19 strategy was no longer viable and called for an end to all regional lockdowns.

Act launched its Covid 3.0 strategy this morning, which called for five shifts in focus for the government.

ACT Leader David Seymour publishes the party's Covid 3.0 (Life After Shutdown) plan to the media in the Legislative Council Chamber in Parliament on September 28, 2021.

Photo: Pool / Things / Robert Kitchin

These included the recognition that the strategy could no longer work; a move away “from isolating entire cities to isolating only those whom it makes sense to isolate”; a shift away from “chronic fear and uncertainty” towards “freedom”; a change in government focus knows better what he called openness; and a general strategic shift from public health to what he called wellness.

Help resolve lease disputes

The government has introduced changes to help alleviate the impacts of Covid-19 restrictions on commercial and residential leases.

As part of the Covid-19 Response Bill submitted to Parliament, steps are being taken to help businesses resolve commercial rental disputes, as well as provide greater certainty to landlords and tenants by protecting residential leases for not rescinded during the Covid-19 alert level. Four.

Marathon postponed

The Auckland Marathon was postponed until January due to the Delta outbreak in the city.

Organizers said there was uncertainty as to whether Auckland would drop to alert level 1 in time for the October 31 event. The event was postponed until January 23 next year.

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