Covid 19 coronavirus: Are there new cases in the community? Ministry of Health poised to give update

Whether anyone else has tested positive for Covid-19 in relation to the Valentine’s cluster is set to be revealed.

The Ministry of Health was expected to sent a statement to media about 1pm with the latest testing results. As at 1:20pm no statement had arrived.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and director general of health Ashley Bloomfield will then hold a press conference at 3pm after the Cabinet meeting.

This morning, Ardern revealed there was a clear chain of transmission to the latest two cases which plunged Auckland into level 3 lockdown for a week.

Family members of the newest cases had contact with people from the second case during the last 72-hour lockdown when they were meant to be isolating.

While infectious, the 21-year-old then visited a number of high-risk environments, including the Manukau Institute of Technology, work and the gym.

Anyone who was at the locations of interest are either considered a close contact, a contact or a “casual plus contact”.

Close contacts must: Self-isolate for 14 days and get a test.

Casual plus close contacts must: Please stay at home, get tested as soon as possible and call Healthline on 08003585453. Remain at home until you receive a negative test result. Self-monitor for Covid-19 symptoms for 14 days from your exposure. If symptoms develop after your first negative result, get another test immediately and stay at home until a negative test result is received.

Casual contacts: Monitor your health for the next 14 days. If you begin to feel unwell or develop any Covid-19 symptoms, contact Healthline on 0800 358 5454, get tested and stay at home until a negative test result is received.

The locations of interest:

February 26
• City Fitness, Papatoetoe – 3.25pm-4.30pm – Casual Plus Contacts
• Hunters Plaza – 3pm-5pm – Casual

February 25
• Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT), Manukau Campus – 12pm-6.30pm – Casual
• Burger King Highland Park – 8pm-9pm – Casual

February 24
• Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT), Manukau Campus – 12pm-6.30pm – Casual
• MIT Breaktime Café – 3.45pm-4.15pm- Casual

February 23
• Your Health Pharmacy, Great South Rd – 3.15pm-3.20pm – Casual

February 22
• Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT), Manukau Campus – 12pm-6.30pm – Casual
• MIT Breaktime Café – 3.15pm-3.45pm – Casual
• KFC Botany Downs – 3.30pm-12.30am – Close or casual plus

February 21
• Pak’nSave Manakau – 6pm-6.10pm – Casual

20 February
• City Fitness, Papatoetoe – 11.15am-1.45pm – Casual Plus Contacts
• Hunters Plaza – 11am-2pm – Casual
• Kmart Botany – CUSTOMERS – 3.30pm-10.30pm – Close Contacts. Households must also isolate if the customer has symptoms
• Kmart Botany – STAFF – 3.30pm-10.30pm – Close Contacts. Households must also isolate until staff member returns day 5 test.
• Dark Vapes East Tamaki – CUSTOMERS – 7pm-8.30pm – Close Contacts. Households must also isolate if the customer has symptoms
• Dark Vapes East Tamaki – STAFF – 7pm-8.30pm – Close Plus Contacts. Households must also isolate until staff member returns day 5 test.

How Covid spread

Ardern told Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking this means there was a direct chain of transmission in the current outbreak.

After a number of interviews officials discovered the new contact – the two families had contact under alert level 3 last weekend.

“Obviously we’ve had contact here in level 3 when it shouldn’t have happened,” Ardern said.

“This was a family who was already identified as having Covid and so was part of contact tracing and did not identify that they did have contact with this family.

“So that means we go back, we re-interview and say ‘now that we have identified that this has happened, we haven’t had all of your contacts, are there others?’ and we do all we can to identify whether or not there’s anyone else that there’s been contact with.”

“The most important thing to us is people just telling us. Obviously, we’ve had contact here in level 3 when it should not have happened but the best thing people can do is still tell us the truth,” said Ardern.

“Had we known this, the other family that we’ve now found a week later, they would have been a close contact and they would have been in quarantine and we would not have had this situation. The truth is so important to us.”

Ardern told The AM Show the person had been interviewed by officials and did not disclose the meet-up.

“Whether or not they forgot or lied, I cannot tell you and it’s obviously had devastating consequences,” she said.

She said whether or not any action would result was not up to her.

“People do dumb things but we’re not going to get through this if people pillory them to the point they do not tell the truth.”

She said there were multiple breaches that happened across two families at the centre of the outbreak.

“A decision on whether enforcement action happens or not is not mine,” she said.

Ardern said she was constantly in two minds over saving people from dying and keeping people onside to follow rules.

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