8 new Covid cases in isolation, Air NZ case confirmed

The Ministry of Health is investigating how an Air NZ staffer caught Covid-19. Photo: NZ Herald
The Ministry of Health is investigating how an Air NZ staffer caught Covid-19. Photo: NZ Herald
The Air New Zealand crew member who tested positive for Covid-19 in China has again returned a positive swab since  returning to New Zealand.

It comes as officials reveal eight new Covid-19 cases, all in managed isolation. There are no new community cases today. There are 59 active cases in New Zealand.

The Ministry of Health is still investigating the circumstances of the Air New Zealand case.

The staffer and their colleagues returned from China this morning and have gone into isolation. The person had tested positive in Shanghai on Sunday.

"Further test samples were processed rapidly in our Auckland laboratory, and these have returned a positive result, so this is now considered a confirmed case. Our case numbers will report this case tomorrow," the ministry said in a statement this afternoon.

"A source investigation is under way and swabs have been sent to ESR in Wellington for genome sequencing, which is being done as quickly as possible."

"This person, seven close contacts and six casual contacts from the flight all arrived in New Zealand this morning and were all tested on arrival.

"This person and the close contacts are all in quarantine at our Auckland facility. So far we also have test results on some of the 11 close contacts, all of which are negative. All close contacts are in self-isolation or managed isolation.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we have been following public health protocols and have already been investigating this case as if it were a confirmed case in New Zealand."

Contact tracing is continuing in Auckland to work out where the staff member went in the two weeks before the Shanghai flight. Three close contacts have been identified so far and another two are under investigation.

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service said that the person went to a petrol station, two Auckland supermarkets, a paint shop, a Pharmacy and a pet shop.

Today's border cases 

The Ministry of Health provided details of new border cases this afternoon:

  • One person arrived on November 19 from Finland via Sweden and Qatar and tested positive at around day 3 of their stay in managed isolation.
  • One person arrived on November 19 from Canada via Hong Kong and tested positive at around day 3 of their stay in managed isolation.

Both are now in quarantine at the ministry's Auckland facility.

  • One person arrived on November 19 from the United States and tested positive at around day 3 of their stay in managed isolation.  This case is in quarantine in our Christchurch facility.
  • Five people are part of the same family that arrived on November 19 from Mexico via the United States and all tested positive at around day 3 of their stay in managed isolation.

These people are in quarantine in the ministry's Christchurch facility.

There are two additional recovered cases, which means there are now 59 active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand.

The total number of confirmed cases is 1683.

Yesterday, laboratories completed 5779 tests for Covid-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,243,518.

 

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