I think New Zealanders are being primed for new lockdowns. How could we not follow our Five Eyes partners?
A new case identified in the community today had called in sick to work after being tested but went to work wearing a mask after talking to their boss, officials say.
All people who work in downtown Auckland are being asked to work from home where possible tomorrow because of the new case.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says there has still been no direct source of infection identified. Any changes to alert levels will be announced tomorrow, he says.
The next update on the case and any decisions will be tomorrow afternoon.
Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay says Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) has interviewed the person.
The student in her 20s was one of three cases announced at the afternoon media briefing today.
McElnay says the woman’s job is a customer-facing role. She called in sick to work after being tested but went to work after talking to her boss, although she wore a mask.
A fire alarm at an Auckland MIQ facility is not likely to be the source of new positive community case.
Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay said she was aware of reports about a fire alarm going off at the Grand Millennium.
“The fire alarm was 8pm on Monday night. This is not likely to be a source of infection for the case as she was already symptomiatic on that day,” she told reporters.
The new case was announced on Thursday and it isn’t linked to the border, nor to a managed isolation or quarantine (MIQ) facility.
The infected person is a student at the Auckland University of Technology – although hadn’t been on-campus since mid-October – lives alone and hadn’t visited a supermarket while infectious. They also worked in a customer-facing role at clothing store A-Z Collection on High St.
There are a number of locations of interest the person visited while they were possibly infectious. These include:
Anyone who was dining at the Red Pig Restaurant on Saturday night needs to be tested and go into self-isolation until they receive a negative test result, the Ministry of Health said. Also, anyone at Smith and Caughey’s, Starbucks, Sunnytown and The Gateau House at these times should watch for symptoms and get tested if they feel unwell and stay in self-isolation until they receive a negative test.
As a result of this new community infection, everyone who works in downtown Auckland is asked to work from home on Friday if possible.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we are asking people to work in downtown Auckland to work from home tomorrow,” Dr McElnay said.
“Minimising movement in the CBD is currently the best precautionary measure we can take.”
Minister of the COVID Response Chris Hipkins said he will have more information on Friday.
“Tomorrow we will have more information, and we will make further decisions – including possible adjustments to our alert levels.”
He said the infection could still be quite contained which is why it doesn’t meet the threshold for increasing alert levels yet……
Jacinda Ardern says the infrastructure needed to hold a Covid-19 vaccine in a cool environment has been factored into the amount of funding already allocated.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today that when the Government made an agreement to purchase Pfizer vaccines, “We were very well aware of the coolstore requirements of that vaccine. It won’t be suitable for every country because it does need to be kept in a very, very cold environment.
“We factored that into out purchasing. We are already working to purchase the infrastructure required to make sure we can distribute it safely, keep that cold chain in tact.”
Woods said there was $66 million allocated for the equipment and infrastructure that would be required to roll out the vaccine.
There are high hopes for the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, which the pharmaceutical giant announced yesterday is 90 per cent effective. However, issues include that it needs to be stored at extremely low temperatures, making distribution tricky.
Yesterday, Minister for Research, Science and Innovation Megan Woods said 1.5 million doses should be ready for Kiwis in early 2021, if all goes to plan. However, as it is a two-dose vaccine, that means 750,000 people would have access.
On how the storage requirement would impact the Pacific, Ardern said New Zealand was “working alongside our Pacific neighbours”.
“We are supporting our Pacific neighbours with vaccination purchase arrangements. There are some vaccines that will make that distribution in those environments a bit more tricky.”