Two new cases of COVID-19

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Two new cases of COVID-19

Media release from the Ministry of Health
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There are two new cases of COVID-19 to report in managed isolation facilities in New Zealand today.

The first case is a man in his 20s who arrived in New Zealand on 18 June. This arrival date has been updated since earlier reports. He flew in from India on flight AI1316. He has been staying in managed isolation at the Pullman Hotel and has today moved to Jet Park hotel.

The second case is a man, also in his 20s, who arrived in New Zealand on 18 June from the United States. He was on flight NZ5 from Los Angeles. The man tested positive at the Jet Park Hotel after showing respiratory symptoms.

Both of these were picked up in routine testing around day 3.

One of the cases who has been in isolation in the Hutt Valley is now considered recovered, which brings our total number of active cases in New Zealand to 10.

Our total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is now 1,165.

There is one significant cluster that remains open.

Yesterday our laboratories completed 4,303 tests, bringing our total completed to date to 348,822.

Testing at the border

Since 9 June, we have rolled out testing in managed isolation facilities around day 3 and around day 12 of people’s stay.

What we do at the border is health screening for everyone upon arrival. Anyone who is symptomatic goes to a dedicated quarantine facility, and anyone who is not is taken to a managed isolation facility.

The reason that we aren’t testing everyone upon arrival is that by day 5 of being infected with COVID-19, people are more likely to test positive for the virus.

We take into account that for many people it may take a day, or two days, to get back to New Zealand from where they have travelled from.

On arrival, people may only be on day 1 or day 2 of their infection, so testing on arrival may miss some positive cases.

If people have been infected and are incubating the virus on arrival, then testing around day 3 in New Zealand, would be around day 5 of their infection.

Testing around day 12 is undertaken as an extra precaution to confirm people are low risk and are ready to leave managed isolation.

Exemptions

Between the period 9-16 June, 55 people left managed isolation on a compassionate exemption.

These people left managed isolation either to self-isolate in the community, or to make visits into the community.

The Ministry has been in communication with all of these people since they left the facility. Of these people:

  • 39 have returned negative tests for COVID-19. Two of these had a test prior to leaving managed isolation and another two were tested the same day as leaving, meaning 35 were tested after leaving managed isolation, with most tested while still in self-isolation.
  • Seven will not be tested, either on the basis of health, because they are a child or they have left the country.
  • One of the people counted had their application approval withdrawn before they left isolation.
  • Four are awaiting results
  • We are working with the remaining four to get testing.

June 9-16

Further work is being done to follow up the group that left managed isolation from June 9-16.

As at 8pm last night, the Ministry has identified 2,159 individuals who left managed isolation during that period.

This figure is from the dataset used by Healthline to make health checks to individuals in managed isolation during that time and matched to Customs data.

They had all completed fourteen days isolation, which is most important measure.

They all received health screening on departure and testing was offered.

Work is ongoing to make contact with all people in this group.

The Ministry’s protocol is that people get a text first, then a call, and we make at least four calls to try and make contact with them.

If you left managed isolation during this time, please respond to the call from Healthline or you can call the dedicated number 09 302 0408.
New Zealand is one of only a very small number of countries that includes testing people before they return into the community in addition to the 14 days isolation.

Consistent with international evidence, once people have completed fourteen days isolation, they pose very low risk to the community.

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