Covid-19: Contact of Omicron-infected MIQ worker tests positive, 14 new cases

A household contact of a MIQ worker with Omicron has also tested positive for Covid-19.

As of this morning, a total of 86 contacts have been identified in relation to the MIQ border worker, including 7 household and 79 close contacts. At this stage, 75 have returned negative test results and one a positive result. The worker was stationed at Auckland's Stamford Plaza.

From the exposure events linked to the MIQ worker, there were 10 people from the two bus journeys who were yet to be tested and were being followed up in person.

Further case interviews are currently underway in relation to the household contact of the MIQ Omicron case but, at this stage, there were no exposure events associated with this case.

No other close contacts linked to this cluster have returned positive results, the Ministry of Health said.

Health officials continue to investigate the transmission route and testing of staff from the Stamford Plaza facility continues today.

In a statement, the ministry said its objective was to stamp out and prevent any onward transmission.

"We're reiterating our call for anyone who lives in Auckland with symptoms – no matter how mild – to get a test, even if you're vaccinated and to please stay at home until you return a negative test result."

There are a total of 14 new community cases of the virus today, the ministry said.

Thirty people are in hospital - including 2 people in ICU.

There have been 30 new cases identified at the border.

Of the 30 Covid-19 cases in hospital, 7 are in North Shore, 13 are in Auckland, 9 are in Middlemore and one case was in hospital in Tauranga.

Today's new community cases are in Auckland, Lakes and Wellington.

In Auckland, health and welfare providers are now supporting 894 people to isolate at home, including 165 cases.

In Lakes, all of the cases announced today were linked to previously reported cases.

The new case of Covid-19 in Wellington is a known contact of existing Wellington cases and the new case has been in isolation, the ministry said in a statement.

There were no known locations of interest associated with the Wellington case.

Meanwhile, 14,367 child vaccines were administered yesterday, on the first day those aged 5-11 could get jabbed.

Yesterday saw the Pfizer vaccine being made available to some of our youngest generation - children aged 5 to 11.

The demand was high yesterday; as seen by the huge turnout at various vaccination sites which led to long delays and complaints from parents and caregivers.

Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said: "It's encouraging to see this strong start to the rollout and extra resources are being deployed to the busiest sites to reduce queues as much as possible."

Police revealed today that they will be implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for all employees, contractors, volunteers, suppliers, new employees and visitors who work or enter police sites.

Everyone covered by the new policy will be required to have had their first Covid-19 vaccination by February 11 and to have had their second by March 11.

Police said anyone visiting a police station or police site to access essential police services, for example front-counter services and people brought to a station for services in relation to enforcement and operational activities - victims and witnesses - were exempt. People held in Police custody suites were also not required to be vaccinated.

It comes as health officials review the current traffic light settings that were designed with Delta in mind because Omicron is a "different beast", director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said this morning.

Working from home and lowering the number of people allowed at gatherings are all back on the table as the Government plans for an inevitable Omicron outbreak.


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