30 Aug 2020

Covid-19 update: Healthcare worker one of two new community cases in NZ

3:05 pm on 30 August 2020

An Auckland healthcare worker is one of two new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has spoken at today's daily briefing, ahead of the dropping of the alert level in Auckland at midnight tonight.

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay has also updated the latest case numbers, with two new community cases reported today.

Watch the media conference here:

One of the two new cases is a healthcare worker who works at a medical centre in Tokoroa, which had been operating at level 4 precautions.

It is believed they came into contact with the existing case on 17 August and after one negative test, the positive result was picked up on a second test when that person became unwell.

The health worker has been identified as a GP, and a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Medical Director Dr Bryan Betty said the circumstances around the tranmission was unclear, but would be followed up by Public Health.

"The College is 100 percent supportive of the healthcare worker, as is the profession, and that support has been conveyed.

"This demonstrates the difficulty with Covid, and how infectious it actually can be. The health worker in question was wearing full PPE [Personal Protective Equipment], did everything absolutely by the book, but Covid is a very difficult virus."

Staff and patients from the medical centre are now being contacted. The case lives alone and has no household contacts.

The other new case is a household contact of a previously confirmed case associated with the Finance Now workplace.

There are 10 people with Covid-19 in hospital today - two in Auckland City, three in Middlemore, three in North Shore and two in Waikato. Eight people are on a ward, and two are in ICU in Middlemore and Waikato Hospitals.

Dr McElnay said two cases had now recovered, so the total number of active cases remains at 136.

She said 10,487 tests were processed yesterday.

"If you are offered a test for Covid-19, please take it," McElnay said.

Ardern said there were still cases coming through from the current cluster in Auckland and this was expected to continue.

"The tail of this cluster will be long."

She said it was "highly likely" there will be more cases through the extensive testing, and that Auckland would move into 'alert level 2.5' tomorrow.

The government said last week that Auckland would join the rest of the country at alert level 2 at 11.59pm, and the Health Minister confirmed this morning that this would still go ahead.

See all RNZ coverage of Covid-19

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP - don't show up at a medical centre

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