15 Sep 2020

Three new cases of Covid-19 in NZ today, all in managed isolation

3:18 pm on 15 September 2020

There are three new cases of Covid-19 today, all are in managed isolation.

Les Mills Takapuna

Photo: RNZ / Jean Bell

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said the three cases are a man in his 30s and two children who arrived together from Dubai on 9 September. They have been in managed isolation at the Ibis Hotel in Rotorua and tested positive for Covid-19 during routine testing around day three of their stay.

The ministry says there are 56 people linked to the Auckland community cluster who remain in quarantine, including 26 people who have tested positive for Covid-19 and their household contacts.

"Since August 11, our contact tracing team has identified 3779 close contacts of cases, of which 3772 have been contacted and are self-isolating, and we are in the process of contacting the rest."

There are four people in hospital with Covid-19 - one is in isolation on a ward in Auckland City Hospital, and one is in isolation on a ward in Middlemore. Two are in ICU, at North Shore and Waikato hospitals.

"With today's three new cases and 16 additional recovered cases, our total number of active cases is 83," the ministry said.

"Of those, 28 are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 55 are community cases."

The total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 is now 1450.

Yesterday, 4402 Covid-19 tests were processed, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 872,444.

There was no media conference by health officials today.

Healthcare worker

Close contacts of 89 users of Les Mills gym in Takapuna are being asked to get tested after a person who attended classes there tested positive.

Yesterday, it was reported that the case of a healthcare worker from the Auckland quarantine facility has been genomically linked to the existing cluster.

Today the ministry said the case was most closely genomically related to three cases from the cluster who were staying in isolation at the quarantine facility.

"This indicates that the worker was most likely exposed to the virus at the facility, however a clear epidemiological link to an existing case is still being determined."

It said the Public Health Unit was investigating, and a review of infection prevention and control processes was also underway.

Contacts from the gym classes the case attended were being assessed by Auckland Regional Public Health staff, the ministry said.

"There are up to 94 possible close contacts being followed up from the three gym classes at Les Mills. Of that number, 72 have been confirmed as close contacts."

"Of these, 71 have been contacted and are self-isolating and we are in the process of contacting the remaining person. Most have been tested already."

The ministry said as part of the assessment, public health staff determined which of the contacts should be in self-isolation and tested.

"This is done on a case-by-case basis. The current advice is that anyone who is regarded as a casual contact in this instance is being advised to be tested, but they do not need to self-isolate unless advised to do so."

Covid Tracer app

There are now 2,215,700 users registered to the NZ Covid Tracer app.

The ministry said as part of the management of the Auckland community cluster, notifications have been sent out for 18 different exposure events. This includes four related to the healthcare worker case, covering the Les Mills Takapuna gym (2), the Warehouse Milford, and Countdown Milford.

Yesterday there was one new case reported, a child linked to the Auckland cluster.

The girl was a household contact of a confirmed case and had been in isolation since 30 August.

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