Four new Covid-19 cases recorded in New Zealand today

Source: 1News

There are two new cases of Covid-19 in the community today, both of which the Ministry of Health say are linked to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship church in Auckland. 

In total there were four new cases of the virus recorded in New Zealand today, the two others being people who've arrived back in the country.

A statement from the Ministry today said the two new community cases have come about as a result of people coming into contact with a person or people already confirmed as having the coronavirus.

"As far as we can tell they were unaware they had been infected and were incubating and spreading the virus at the time. This underscores the importance of close contacts following the public health advice they’re given which includes strict self-isolation even if they don’t have symptoms, and even if they have returned a negative test. 

"We are aware that church leaders are actively encouraging all members of the congregation to retest by Friday and to comply with other public health advice such as self-isolation."

As of 8am today, 213 of the 332 congregates at the church had been tested for Covid-19.

There are also two imported cases from overseas - a man in his 30s and a woman in her 50s, both who arrived in New Zealand on a flight from India on 27 August.

The pair were were in managed isolation in Christchurch and tested positive to day 12 testing.

Both cases are now in quarantine.

There are now 72 people linked to the Auckland community cluster that broke out in early August who remain in quarantine, including 56 people confirmed to have the virus and their household contacts.

Today there are three people in hospital with the virus, of which two are in intensive care at North Shore and Waikato hospitals.

There are now 120 active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand - 81 from the community outbreak and 31 imported cases.

In total, there has been 1441 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in New Zealand since the pandemic began.

Yesterday, 7950 tests were carried out, bringing the total number to 839,467.

Minister gives warning against misinformation

Health Minister Chris Hipkins had a stark warning for those spreading misinformation about the virus at the 1pm media conference today.

"This virus is real and it is deadly, but if we follow the rules we can get back to as close to normal as possible," he said.

"What continues to be troubling and is threatening to block our path to Level 1 is repeated, deliberate and malicious spreading of misinformation.

"We are continuing to see organised campaigns that are designed to confuse and to sow doubt about our response.

"Everybody has a right to be sceptical and hold their own views, but equally everybody has a right to be safe so please think twice before sharing or passing on something that you cannot verify."

Hundreds linked to West Auckland school tested 

A West Auckland school connected to the church sub-cluster has undergone a deep clean, as well as testing of many staff and students at the school now completed.

"As at 11am today, labs had registered 561 tests against this code. There will also have been additional tests where the person did not specify they were connected with St Dominic’s," the Ministry of Health statement said.

Staff and students were provided access to two dedicated testing centres not open to the general public, meaning they could be tested without long waits and tests were prioritised at laboratories. 

The Ministry said the vast majority of students at St Dominic’s are casual contacts and were being tested as a precaution.

If students and staff felt well and had no symptoms of Covid-19, The Ministry has advised that they do not need to self-isolate while waiting for test results.

However, close contacts have been advised they need to stay in self-isolation for 14 days, even if their test result is negative.