COVID-19 media updates, 12 August

News article

12 August 2020


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield provided a COVID-19 update on COVID-19 at 4:00pm 12 August.

View the video of the update below

Topics covered in questions from the media included: 

  • Auckland family and where they visited before testing 
  • The four probable cases-two are work colleagues and two are related household 
  • Whether there’s an established link to MIQ or borders yet 
  • Expecting genome testing in next 24 hours. Some time needed for analysis 
  • The penalties for those who don’t display the QR code-update to come tomorrow 
  • Numbers of contacts to contact trace 
  • 30.14 Dedicated testing for testing of close contacts, so not waiting for testing 
  • 30:22 Family visit to Rotorua and when info about businesses they visited will be available. Will continue to be made available as it comes through 
  • 31:26 Time taken to contact trace 
  • 32: 17 Businesses that family may have visited in their local area and whether these are a risk. No other locations have come to light so far. 
  • 34:03 Whether staff at Rotorua businesses will get tested 
  • 34: 56 Whether businesses will be required to keep a list of visitors 
  • 35:42 Aged care residents and whether residents will be tested. Constant discussion with the sector around testing and use of PPE 
  • 36:19 Consideration of moving election date 
  • 38:14 Confirmation that there is no restriction of numbers of swabs that GPs can be ordered 
  • 38:30 Investigation of whether there could have been importing of virus through import of goods 
  • 39:22 Satisfaction of speed of contact tracing 
  • 40:03 Update tomorrow on timing of cold store test 
  • 40:32 Response to suggestion that government and officials knew about community cases earlier 
  • 43:16 What provisions there would be for businesses to keep list of customers if they don’t have phones. This is being worked through. 
  • 45:39 Probable cases 
  • 46: 11 Demand for tests and waits for tests at centres 
  • 47: 05 Testing turnaround time frame. 24 hours for processing time 
  • 47:46 How long it might take for someone to get their results 
  • 48.25 Location and hours of testing centres in Auckland and new testing centres to open 
  • 48:56 How we will determine if we move to level 4. Waiting for information to make evidence-based decisions 
  • 50:03 Resurgence plan 
  • 50:21 How we will determine if can come down alert level in Auckland. What information informs decision. Key info around source will be the genome testing 
  • 50:55 Dr Bloomfield’s test yesterday


The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, provided an update to the media today at 10.30 am.

View the video of the update below.

Topics covered in questions from the media included:

  • confirmation that no new positive tests related to the confirmed community cases
  • speed of reporting various information about the community cases
  • decision on alert levels for Rotorua and why different from Auckland
  • timeline of information provided to officials and government
  • whether the country needs to prepare for higher alert levels or longer times at higher alert levels, and what is happening to determine next steps
  • whether any other locations that the positive cases visited will be publicly announced
  • best and worse case scenarios for what happens next
  • speed of isolation of confirmed community cases
  • confirmation that no impact on people coming into New Zealand through the borders
  • working through testing of everyone working at MIQs
  • the number of staff working across border and MIQ facilities inside and outside Auckland is around 6-7,000 individuals 
  • confidence in finding source of the new community cases and steps to do this
  • testing of cool store workplace surfaces
  • time frame for any change in alert levels after midnight Friday
  • how people can go to a testing centre without having called Healthline
  • mask and face use and the encouragement of this
  • additional economic support and government looking at providing this if required
  • involvement of Iwi and importance of assurance to Iwi that road blocks are done well to look after those outside Auckland
  • confidence of supply of PPE and swabs, and distribution of these across Auckland
  • possibility of community cases moving to quarantine facilities
  • limits on numbers at funerals and tangihanga and how this will be monitored 
  • possibilities for where the source case may have come from
  • false negative rate
  • possibility of mandated masks and topic of people being prepared and message that can create own face covering
  • election dates, preparation for a Level 2 election, flexibility of dates if required
  • financial support for people in self-isolation in the three days, if needed
  • increased downloads of COVID tracer app and QR codes and further announcements on these to come this afternoon
  • woman who travelled to Japan from NZ and tested positive in Japan
  • frequency of testing at MIQ facilities and higher frequency at facilities with COVID cases
  • Jet Park staff working only in Jet Park
  • Cook Islands travel bubble
  • reaction of Dr Bloomfield when heard results of tests.

Back to top