3 cases of COVID-19

Media release

24 September 2020

Today there are three new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand – all detected in recent returnees in managed isolation facilities. There are no new community cases.

The three new cases are all separate returnees who arrived on different flights from the United States on 18 September; from London via Dubai on 16 September and from Croatia via Frankfurt and Dubai on 18 September. All three are in quarantine in Auckland.

There are 32 people isolating in the Auckland quarantine facility from the community, which includes 15 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their household contacts. 

Three people are in hospital with COVID-19 – one each at Auckland City, Middlemore and North Shore hospitals. All three patients are in isolation on a general ward. 

Since August 11, our contact tracing team has identified 4,044 close contacts of cases, of which 4,025 have been contacted and are self-isolating or have completed self-isolation. We are in the process of contacting the rest. 

Our total number of active cases is 65; of those, 31 are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 34 are community cases. 

Our total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is 1,471. 

Yesterday our laboratories processed 6,142 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 930,779.

Yesterday’s cases

Public health services continue to contact trace, test and isolate close contacts of the three community cases reported yesterday.

The three people are part of the same family group – two had been in managed isolation in Christchurch and returned home of the chartered flight, while the third is a household contact. Two were tested because they were known flight contacts of the original case; the third was tested because they were a house hold contact.

The family has been self-isolating over the last four days.  As part of the continuing investigation, further interviews have taken place with the three new cases.

The family travelled to Taupo between 18 and 20 September, where they met up with 18 others from 5 locations around New Zealand. Those 18 people, who travelled from Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton are all considered close contacts.

In addition to those 18 people, another 13 people have been identified as close contacts. All 31 contacts have been or are in the process of being tested and all are isolating.

Public health services have been in contact with businesses where individuals may have visited while infectious. Places and times of those visits assessed as requiring public notice at this stage are:

  • Christchurch domestic airport, 11 September, 10.30–12.30 pm
  • Hot pools at DeBretts Spa Resort, Taupo, Taupo, 18 Sept, 2.30–7.00 pm
  • Taupo Tandem Skydiving based at Taupo Airport, 19 Sept, 2.00–3.30 pm
  • Just Cuts, Westfield, St Lukes, Thursday 17 September, 4.00–5.00 pm.

The National Contact Tracing team is working to identify other locations of interest and expects to be able to issue exposure notices through the COVID Tracer App.

It’s pleasing to note the extensive use of the NZ COVID Tracer app by one of these cases has significantly assisted contact tracing efforts.

Anyone visiting these places at these times should be vigilant of their health and get tested if they develop symptoms.

For more details about where to get a COVID-19 test in the locations from which the travellers came, visit these links:

Contacts from Auckland flight

An update on the case of the man who left MIQ in Christchurch having returned negative tests for COVID-19 and then tested positive in Auckland. 

There were 86 people on that flight. 70 have returned negative results, 6 were previously reported positive cases that do not require further testing; 3 are recently reported positive cases, 7 are pending. 

NZ COVID Tracer 

There are now 2,259,500 users registered on NZ COVID Tracer. 

The app has recorded a total of 72,694,242 poster scans, and users have created 3,238,450 manual diary entries in NZ COVID Tracer. 

It’s a timely reminder, with the move down alert levels this week, that businesses are still required to display the official NZ COVID Tracer QR codes across all alert levels.

The Ministry of Health will be contacting all businesses that have already generated QR codes to provide them with new copies of their posters in case they have been damaged or removed.

Any business that has not already generated an official QR code can get started by visiting the Ministry of Health website.

QR code posters should be printed in A4, in colour if possible and should be displayed in a prominent place or near the main entrance. The top of the poster should be approximately 1300 mm from the ground so everyone can scan.

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