Two new cases of Covid at the border

There are two new cases of Covid-19 today - both are in managed isolation and aren't connected to the fishing crew.

Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield said there was no need to move up alert levels at this stage.

The first case arrived on October 19 from the Netherlands via Dubai and the second case arrived on October 21 from Doha.

Both cases are now in the Auckland quarantine facility. 

The government was interested as to whether there were any indications on whether there needed to be a change in alert levels but the Ministry of Health wasn't recommending that at this time.

If everyone followed the advice, an alert level move could be avoided, Bloomfield said. It would also bode well for the break over Christmas and New Year.

There are 58 active cases bringing our total number of cases to 1558.

The number of cases of Russian and Ukranian fishermen with Covid-19 at Sudima Christchurch Airport Hotel remains at 18 and all of the crew are being tested again today.

Patrons who visited a North Shore pub are being urged to isolate and get tested. A man who later tested positive for the virus visited The Malt in Greenhithe on Friday night between 7.30pm and 10pm before he became sick.

He and a fellow port worker were infected by a 27-year-old marine engineer who is thought to have contracted the disease on a visiting ship, the Sofrana Surville.

Bloomfield repeated the call for patrons at The Malt and their household contacts to self-isolate and get a test then remain in isolation until they get their result.

He called it an "exposure event" and people there could have been in the same place as a person who'd tested positive - it was a reminder of why the app was important.

"Time is our friend in this case and potentially our enemy so we'd like to keep it on our side."

The Ministry has put a process in place to report results back more quickly so people aren't waiting for their results over the long weekend.

The Ministry hadn't yet checked whether anyone from The Malt then went to the All Blacks game but it was low-risk due to the timeframe, he said.

There are two new pop-up tests on the North Shore - including one in Wainoni Park in Greenhithe. There are six community testing centres which will remain open over the weekend. People can also get tests at urgent care clinics.

People should call Healthline to find the closest testing site to them.

School contact

It also emerged today a student from New Zealand's biggest school, Rangitoto College, is in isolation after a person in their household tested positive for Covid-19.

The risk to the college community is low as the student tested negative and was only at school briefly, Bloomfield said.

He urged anyone contacted by contact tracers to act quickly and continue monitoring their health over the coming weeks for any symptoms.

Anyone who is considered a close contact is required to self-isolate for the full 14 days.

"This virus does not take breaks."

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service has written to parents of the college.

"This student is not considered a close contact, however, as they have had minimal exposure to the person while this person was infectious. The student is well and has had a negative test result. They have only been at school for a very short time since their household member became sick."

A cafe next-door to The Malt, Baked, has gone back into level 3 protocol with staff wearing masks. A table at the front door, where people can place orders, bars people from entering and coming into contact with staff.

Schools in the area have also sent out messages to parents on social media. Hobsonville Point Primary School asked parents to get in touch if they had been to the pub.

Labour weekend advice

Bloomfield said it was important for Kiwis this weekend to keep using the Covid Tracer app because they might not remember everywhere they went over Labour Weekend. It was now down to 500,000 scans.

"I'm feeling we could do a lot better and it's in all our interests to do better."

Hospitality venues in particular should be diligent.

As well, it was important to keep washing hands, have good cough and sneeze ettiquette.

The advice for Aucklanders is the same for all New Zealanders and that was to take all precautions, said Bloomfield.

"If you're unwell don't go on holiday and get a test instead."

The most important advice on gatherings was to not go if you were unwell.

He encouraged people to continue using masks on public transport, and people shouldn't be embarrassed about wearing one - he still wears his.

"Dust them back off and when you travel over the next few days wear your masks."

And he reminded Kiwis to stay home if they were sick.

Pub visit

The pub-goer was likely infected on Friday when he shared a room with the colleague, then went to The Malt that evening.

He was tested on Sunday morning and returned a negative test but developed symptoms on Tuesday and then tested positive.

Microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles has expressed concern over how the infected port worker passed the virus to the colleagues in just three minutes of contact.

Everyone who was at the pub at that time is being urged to isolate and get a test as soon as possible.

Patrons and staff of the bar should also remain vigilant for symptoms of Covid-19, such as a new or worsening cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense or smell, or fever.

There was a rush on testing sites last night with some people experiencing a three hour wait at the Shorecare medical centre.

"Most people in the pub at this time are considered casual contacts, but are being asked to get tested as soon as possible. They should stay at home in self-isolation until they receive a negative test result," the Auckland Regional Public Health Service said.

"If people at the pub that night get sick however, even after a negative test result, they should self-isolate again, and get tested again."

Household members of pub patrons from that night need only get tested and stay home if the person who was at the pub becomes sick or develops any symptoms, or unless directed by Public Health, ARPHS said.

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