Covid-19: Six new cases

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There are six new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today, five in recent returnees in managed isolation and one in a border worker already in quarantine for the past two weeks.

The recent returnees arrived from Qatar, Germany and the United States.

Of these recent returnees two people arrived from Qatar on November 17. They returned a positive result to routine day 3 testing and are being today transferred to Auckland’s quarantine facility.

One person arrived from Germany via Qatar and Australia on November 10. They returned a positive result following a series of previous tests returning inconclusive results.  The person has now been transferred to quarantine at our Auckland facility.

Two people arrived from the United States on November 14  They have now returned a positive test and are now in quarantine in Christchurch.

The Ministry of Health is also reporting a positive case in a close contact of one of the existing positive cases (case B) in the November quarantine cluster.  This person was self-isolating at home from  November 7, and chose to transfer to managed isolation on November 11.  They had a negative day 5 test and are now confirmed as a case today after returning a positive test at around day 12.

"They remain in the managed isolation facility in Wellington," says a Ministry of Health spokesperson.  "All close contacts of case F have been followed up, tested and returned negative results."

There are four additional recovered cases, meaning there are 42 active cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand.

The total number of confirmed NZ cases is now 1,663.

Yesterday NZ laboratories processed 7014 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,224,397.

"This level of testing as well as the prompt identification, tracing, testing and isolation of close contacts provides reassurance that this cluster is contained at this stage," says a Ministry of Health spokesperson.

"The Ministry continues to encourage anyone who visited a location of interest during the relevant time period for the November cluster to get tested – to ensure we can quickly identify anyone who may have been infected.

"As part of this enhanced surveillance we are continuing to have two pop up testing facilities in central and east Auckland. Both locations are walk-in and don’t require a pre-booked appointment."

The central Auckland pop-up testing location is on High Street close to a number of the ‘Locations of interest’ and will be open today and tomorrow (Saturday and Sunday).  The east Auckland location is at 292A Botany Road (Spectrum House) and will be open both days. All testing locations are available on the ARPHS website.

"We have the best chance of staying ahead of COVID-19 if everyone who becomes unwell with cold or flu like symptoms stays at home and seeks a test quickly, and all New Zealanders are keeping track of where they’ve been and who they’ve seen."

Results of genome sequencing for case F are expected on Monday.

NZ COVID Tracer app

The NZ COVID Tracer now has 2,376,400 registered users.

Poster scans have reached 121,835,143 and users have created 45,003,971 manual diary entries.

"Please continue to use the app to scan into locations displaying a QR code – you never know when you will need to call on your contact tracing diary. The more every person scans, the safer we will all be," says a Ministry of Health spokesperson.

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