Media release25 June 2020There are three new cases of COVID-19 to report in managed isolation facilities in New Zealand today, one in Rotorua and two in Christchurch. Once again, there is no community transmission in New Zealand.
The first case we are reporting today is a woman in her 30s who arrived in New Zealand on June 20 from Peru. The woman has been staying at the Ibis Hotel in Rotorua since arriving in New Zealand, and tested positive for COVID-19 following routine testing around day 3 of her managed isolation. Everyone who was on the bus from Auckland Airport to the Ibis Hotel is being followed up – all passengers on the bus are already in managed self isolation, and the driver, who was wearing PPE, has also been followed up as a potential contact and will be tested.
The second case we are reporting today is a man in his 70s who arrived in New Zealand from New Delhi, India, on June 20. He has been staying at the Commodore Airport Hotel in Christchurch. The man tested positive for COVID-19 as part of routine testing around day 3 of managed isolation.
The third case we are reporting today is a man in his 30s who also arrived in New Zealand on June 20, from Adanpur in India. He has also been staying at the Commodore in Christchurch and also tested positive as part of routine testing around day 3 of his stay in managed isolation.
Any possible contacts of these two cases will be identified and followed up appropriately.
Those needing to be quarantined in Christchurch are moved to the quarantine section within one of the managed isolation facilities. This has been assessed as a “dual use” facility, in which one area has been set aside for those requiring a higher level of clinical care. Similar arrangements are being put in place in Rotorua.
The second case that has been isolating in the Hutt Valley is now considered to have recovered, meaning we now have 13 active cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, all in managed isolation or quarantine facilities.
Our total number of confirmed cases is now 1,169, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.
Yesterday our laboratories completed another new record number of tests – 10,436.
That brings our total number of tests completed to date to 368,432.
Case definition and testing strategy
Yesterday we released an updated case definition alongside our updated testing strategy.
Firstly, on the case definition. This is an updated classification of people with symptoms that might be suggestive of COVID-19 to help clinicians decide whether they need to be in self-isolation while awaiting the result of their test, and whether they need to be notified to the Medical Officer of Health because they are potentially at a higher risk of having COVID-19.
There are other factors that mean they could be at a higher risk than others of having COVID-19. These factors are when they have respiratory symptoms and have had one or more of the following in the last 14 days:
Contact with a confirmed of probable case
Direct contact with someone who has travelled overseas
History of working on an international aircraft or shipping vessel
Cleaning at international airport or maritime ports or areas frequently visited by international visitors
Alongside this is our updated approach to testing. The most significant change is extensive testing at and around the border, including testing everyone in managed isolation twice during their stay whether symptomatic or not, and surveillance testing of people working in managed isolation facilities and around the border.
Testing in the community will continue, and as part of our broader surveillance anyone with respiratory symptoms should contact Healthline or their general practice to get advice around getting a test, which is the same as it has been for some weeks.
The updated approach continues to rely on clinical judgement which has been an essential part of the testing approach since the outset and ensures that people who might be at higher risk are tested and managed appropriately.
This is reflected in our high testing rates in the community, including 10,436 tests yesterday.
Arrivals at Auckland Airport
We are continuing to improve the data processing that underpins our testing of all new arrivals in managed isolation.
Since late last evening we have had in place an approach where Auckland-based DHB staff are working more closely with Customs staff so that by the time passengers leave Auckland airport we will already have names matched to NHI numbers for returning New Zealanders. For those without NHI numbers, for instance New Zealanders born overseas, the DHB and Ministry of Health are working to generate one within a day of arrival.
All New Zealanders have this number which allows us to anonymise health information linked to patients and then allows patients or their tests or results to be traced and tracked by health services.
These steps are critical for our health professionals providing testing for everyone in managed isolation.
Having the NHI numbers with patients helps ensure our health staff are confident of the information we hold and that it’s linked to the right patient.
Amongst other things, this will assist in our reporting of testing while people are in managed isolation.
The Auckland region DHBs are supporting this process at Auckland Airport with their systems and this will remain in place for the remainder of the week.
We expect to largely automate this process through an update to our National Contract Tracing Solution (NCTS Border) in coming weeks.
An update on the numbers provided yesterday.
We have two people still awaiting results, and we are continuing to work with enforcement services to follow up with one person.
40 have returned negative tests, and 11 will not be tested.
Of guests at the Novotel from June 6-13, we have five who are outstanding and have been referred to finding services. All staff from the hotel have now been contacted.
Again, a reminder to anyone who was in a managed isolation facility between June 9 and 16 to make contact.
1,184 people have been contacted and have tested negative for COVID-19; 800 of those were tested before leaving managed isolation and the remaining 384 were tested after departure from the facility.
143 people have been referred for a test which we do not yet have a result for.
We are still in the process of connecting with 695 people. As needed we will refer people we do not make contact with to finding services. 168 of these had invalid numbers, so we are referring these people to finding services.
We have had 137 people who will not be tested because of reasons such as being a child, being part off repositioning crew, currently being overseas or they are refusing a test. 68 people have refused testing.
NZ COVID Tracer App
NZ COVID Tracer has now recorded 580,000 registrations.
We continue to encourage as many people as possible to download and use the app – this will support our contact tracing efforts in Level 1.
It’s great news that more and more businesses and organisations are displaying their official QR codes. The number of posters created by businesses is now 74,831.
There have been 1,223,497 poster scans to date.
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