Covid-19 coronavirus: One new case in managed isolation today; none in community

There is one new case of Covid-19 in managed isolation and no new cases in the community today.

One previously reported case has now recovered. Three cases reported previously have been reclassified as under investigation.

The new case involves a person who arrived from the United States on January 28.

All test results of close contacts of the border-related cases are negative.

The Ministry reported that day 12 testing is to be taken of close contacts who currently remain in isolation.

“Of the 352 returnees that left the Pullman between 9 January and 24 January, we have negative results for 332 and one infant is not required to test.

“Efforts continue to follow up the remaining 17 people,” the ministry said in a statement.

An additional person who was reported in this group earlier has now been confirmed as having left New Zealand for Australia.

The number of active cases in New Zealand is 71, and the number of confirmed cases is 1947. The number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,526,608.

New requirements for guests and staff at the Pullman came into effect today at noon.

From today returnees are required to remain in their rooms until they get a negative test result after having had their 11 or 12-day test.

Those departing the Pullman will be required to have a day 5 post-departure test and stay at home until a negative test result is returned.

Until February 14, staff at the Pullman will also need to undergo twice weekly testing.

Demand for testing across Auckland and Northland remain strong. Pop up testing centres in Orewa will remain open until 4pm, and Albany until 4.30pm today. This is in addition to the four regional community testing centres, which are also open today.

People are urged to be vigilant and use the NZ Covid Tracer, which has 2,535,581 registered users.

“It’s more important than ever that people keep a record of where they’ve been and do not go out if unwell,” the Ministry said.

“We continue to strongly encourage people to continue to scan using the NZ Covid Tracer app and turn on Bluetooth tracing in the app. The better we keep a record of where we have been, the safer we’ll all be.”

It was announced on Friday there were no new cases of Covid-19 in the community and there were six new cases in managed isolation.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins gave the greenlight to holidaymakers who were preparing to leave for anniversary weekend getaways.

“There is no reason why people’s travel plans should change,” he said.

So far all three positive cases in the community – a 56-year-old Northland woman and an Ōrewa man in his 40s and his preschooler daughter – have been scientifically linked with a fellow returnee staying in managed isolation at Auckland’s Pullman hotel.

But no further positive cases have been found, as of yesterday, despite thousands of people lining up for tests. This has given officials hope that community transmission has been avoided.

Meanwhile, it was revealed yesterday that a managed isolation worker was caught in a guest’s bedroom after he had slipped hand-written notes into the guest’s groceries and written his number on a face-mask.

The worker at the Grand Millenium hotel in Auckland then delivered a bottle of wine to her room.

After the staffer didn’t promptly return from the delivery, the hotel’s security manager went to the woman’s room to follow up and interrupted the forbidden rendezvous.

The man was in the hotel room for about 20 minutes.

Head of MIQ Brigadier Jim Bliss said after the January 7 incident was discovered the guest admitted the worker had put notes in her groceries and produced a face mask with a hand-written message and a phone number.

The staffer was sacked and he and the guest were both given formal police warnings.

Both have returned negative Covid tests and public health officials have deemed the risk low to negligible.

Bliss said the security system worked “as it should have” and the measures in place meant the encounter was uncovered quickly.

But he said the actions of the staffer and the guest were “incredibly irresponsible and extremely disappointing”.

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