Today there are five new confirmed cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand – one of these is an imported case detected in a managed isolation facility. Four are community cases.
All community cases are linked to the wider Auckland August cluster and are epidemiologically linked to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Church group.
The one imported case is a man in his 20s who arrived from India on 23 August and who has been staying in an Auckland isolation facility. He is a close contact of an existing confirmed case and tested positive following routine testing around day 12 of his stay. He is now in quarantine.
A Christchurch person discussed yesterday as being under further investigation has now been confirmed as not a case of COVID-19. The investigation has been closed.
Since August 11, our contact tracing team has identified 3,217 close contacts of cases, of which 3,187 have been contacted and are self-isolating, and we are in the process of contacting the rest.
There are 75 people linked to the community cluster who remain at the Auckland quarantine facility, which includes 58 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
There are four people with COVID-19 in hospital today; two are in North Shore Hospital’s general ward, one is in a general ward at Middlemore Hospital and one is in ICU in Waikato Hospital.
One of the previously reported cases is now considered to have recovered.
With today’s five new cases, our total number of active cases is 116. Of those, 39 are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 77 are community cases.
Our total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is now 1,421, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.
The number of COVID-19 related deaths in New Zealand is 24.
Yesterday our laboratories nationally processed 7,178 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 814,638.
The Government has introduced a range of operational changes to further strengthen our borders against COVID-19. They cover aspects of entry via the air and maritime borders, the operation of our managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities and the required testing of those working at the border.
These changes reflect our evolving understanding of the health risks and how to further strengthen our efforts to keep COVID-19 out of New Zealand. This set of changes also gather all the requirements for managed isolation into a single Order regardless of the circumstances through which people might enter MIQ (through the air border, maritime border or COVID-19 community cases).
The maritime border changes strengthen requirements for testing, isolation and quarantine of arriving crew. They also introduce infringement offences under the COVID-19 Act. The Required Testing Order enables the introduction of ongoing, routine, mandatory COVID-19 testing for all border workers.
The air border and MIQ orders introduce some smaller but important changes.
The Orders come into effect from 11:59 pm tonight.