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Covid-19 Update: Tuesday 22nd September – No New Cases

Sep 22, 2020
1817 Views

There are no new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.

Three people are in hospital with Covid-19, one each in Middle, North Shore and Auckland City hospitals.

The total number of active cases is 61, 32 of those are community cases. That brings the total number of Covid-19 cases in the country to 1446.

There have now been a total of 917,699 Covid-19 tests processed.

Watch the update here:

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says it’s important we all remain vigilant, monitoring our health and not going out if symptoms appear.

In the instances of people who have since recovered from Covid-19 the test comes back positive with a high CT count – a weak positive result, he says.

There are four groups of people this covers, including the people who tested positive overseas after coming from New Zealand.

A protocol is being developed to work on how these cases are managed, he says.

Dr Bloomfield says these historical cases are not infectious.

He says the key thing about the testing plan is that anyone anywhere in the country with symptoms should be tested.

He says sometimes people with historical infections seek a test because they have a respiratory illness and it seems an acute non-Covid respiratory illness then creates the conditions where if there’s residual Covid-19 virus or viral fragments inside someone’s nasopharynx then that is detected and does detect a positive result.

The test result is often a weak positive, he says.

The panel and protocol will help ensure a consistent approach to cases that are effectively borderline cases and that are being further investigated, he says.

The panel will confirm whether the infection is historical or recent and to guide public health measures.

Especially regarding contact tracing and management, he says.

The person who tested positive after leaving an isolation facility in Christchurch and who traveled via plane to Auckland, had 85 close contacts on the flight.

So far 29 have been tested – the people in the front nine rows of the plane. All but one have returned a negative test. The remaining person returned a positive test with a high CT value yesterday.

The person returned a negative test this morning and has not had symptoms.

Serology testing is also being undertaken, Bloomfield says.

The person returned negative day 3 and 12 tests in isolation. It’s still under investigation.

Dr Bloomfield says mobile testing sites will be used to test non-symptomatic people in high-risk industries like hospitality workers who may come in contact with Aucklanders.

He says his team is looking at whether to test people after they’ve left managed isolation.

It’s rare for an incubation period to be longer than 14 days, but it’s not unheard of, he says.

There were no new cases of Covid-19 in the country yesterday.

Auckland has operated at tailor-made “alert level 2.5” since 31 August. The city will move down to level 2, with eased restrictions on gatherings, at 11.59pm on Wednesday.

That level will be in place for 14 days, with Cabinet set to review those settings again on 5 October.

The rest of the country has moved down to alert level 1 today but there is still a risk of Covid-19 returning to the community, according to the Ministry of Health.

Source: rnz.co.nz Republished by arrangement.

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