No new Covid-19 cases

The Ministry of Health has announced there are no new Covid-19 cases in the community or at the border.

A total of 54 people linked to Auckland's cluster remain in a quarantine facility.

Of those people, 22 have tested positive to the virus and their household contacts.

There are four people with Covid in hospital.

One patient is at Auckland City Hospital, another is at North Shore Hospital and two people are in Middlemore Hospital, south of the city.

Three of those people in hospital are in isolation on a ward.

One person is in the intensive care unit at Middlemore.

That news comes after authorities said yesterday no one was in ICU.

Since August 12, the Ministry of Health's contact tracing team has identified 3912 close contacts of cases - of which 3908 have been contacted and are self-isolating.

Health officials said: "We are in the process of contacting the rest."

Yesterday's cases

It comes after seven new positive cases were announced yesterday at the border.

All of those cases were of people in managed isolation facilities around the country and were of returning residents or citizens who had recently arrived from India, Uzbekistan and Indonesia.

None of the cases were within the community or, more importantly, linked to the latest Auckland cluster.

The latest community case is a girl, under 10 years old, who tested positive for the virus on Monday and is linked to the Botany sub-cluster.

The youngster is a close contact of a person who had tested positive for the virus earlier and, as a result, had been in isolation since August 30.

The mandatory 14-day quarantine period had just finished on Sunday when the girl and three other close contacts were dropped off at Chapel Downs Primary School on Monday morning, about 8.30am.

About 9am, however, all four were picked up from the school grounds after the family was notified that the little girl had tested positive for Covid-19.

The fact the pupil had been at school on that day, albeit very briefly, was only made known to the school on Wednesday afternoon.

As a result, the school - in Flat Bush, South Auckland - has been closed down by health authorities until at least Monday; as it is cleaned and close contacts are identified and contacted.

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service has spent the last few days contacting those deemed to be close contacts of the child. However, that number was said to be "very small," authorities said yesterday.

A Ministry of Health spokeswoman told the New Zealand Herald today that the child's family was told she had tested positive for Covid-19 at 8.39am on Monday.

"This timeline means there was a period on Monday morning when the family would have been unaware of the child's positive result.

"That is when the child – who was asymptomatic - was briefly on the school grounds but was picked up following notification of the result," she said.

"As soon as formal notification was received, steps were taken to alert the family and the appropriate contact tracing and interviews took place."

There have been three deaths related to the Auckland August cluster - Dr Joe Williams and brothers Alan and Nigel Te Hiko.

Alan Te Hiko became the first person connected to the cluster to succumb to the virus on September 4. Hours later, Williams died also.

The Te Hiko whānau confirmed the death of their second family member to die of the virus - Nigel Te Hiko - on Tuesday afternoon.

As of yesterday, the latest figures showed there were 178 people connected to the Auckland August cluster.


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