Thursday, December 9

Covid-19: 35 new community cases in New Zealand today as alert level decision looms


There are 35 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today, as the Cabinet is set to review the alert level settings this afternoon.

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Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

In a statement, the Health Ministry said that all of today’s new cases are in the Auckland region.

Of the new cases, 14 have known links to existing cases (including four domestic contacts) and 21 remain under investigation, the ministry said.

There were no new cases at the border and no new cases to report in Waikato.

There are currently 33 people in hospitals with Covid-19: five in the North Shore; 16 at Middlemore; nine in Auckland; one at Starship Hospital; One at Waikato Base Hospital and one at Palmerston North Hospital. Seven patients are in intensive care or high dependency units.

That brings the total number of cases in the current community outbreak to 1,622. There have been 4,300 confirmed cases since the pandemic began.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed that the positive case identified in Katikati in the Bay of Plenty over the weekend has been retested and the result has been negative.

The ministry confirmed that Katikati’s case turned out negative.

“While the case remains under investigation, the public health risk is considered low given the person’s vaccination status, history of regular testing, good use of the NZ Covid Tracer app, and quick contact, testing, and the isolation of family members, all of whom also gave negative results. “

Meanwhile, two North Shore Hospital staff members tested positive for Covid-19 following a positive case reported yesterday in a patient receiving treatment in the dialysis unit adjacent to the hospital.

The ministry said the connection between the three cases is being investigated.

“Initially several members of the staff have been removed as a precautionary measure, and all the personnel who have been examined have given negative results,” he said.

“The dialysis unit remains open, with measures in place to manage the potential risk for both patients and staff. This includes the use of PPE and intensive cleaning between each group of patients and plans to use a combination of rapid PCR and rapid testing. of antigens for staff before them starting their shift. “

In other hospital updates, the Auckland DHB informed the ministry last night that a fully vaccinated staff member tested positive for Covid-19 over the weekend.

The ministry said Auckland City Hospital has now identified all staff member’s contacts for on-site testing for staff and patients.

“We were informed this morning that two other members of the hospital staff tested positive. Of the three, two were tested at a community testing site, while one was tested as part of routine workplace surveillance. .

“Initial investigations have shown that there are no links to the case of the NICU parents.”

The Ministry understands from MidCentral DHB that the patient is in a stable condition.

In the case of Auckland who traveled to Northland, full genome sequencing was completed, confirming that the case is related to the Auckland outbreak.

“Due to sample quality limitations, whole genome sequencing was unable to link the case to a specific group, however resampling has been performed and the ESR is working to improve the quality of the data from the additional sequencing, “the ministry said.

The case remains in an Auckland quarantine facility.

A second person believed to have traveled with this case has been contacted but has not yet been located, the ministry said.

He said the case was under investigation after a weak positive test result in Whangārei earlier this week and tested positive in Auckland on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet will decide today at 4 pm whether to change the alert levels.

Critical decisions for Auckland today include whether schools return when the fourth quarter begins next week.

Last week, the government announced a three-step plan to ease Auckland’s alert level restrictions, before Northland moved to level 3 on Friday. The cabinet is reviewing alert levels for all regions today.

More to come …


www.rnz.co.nz

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