There are two new cases of COVID-19 to report in managed isolation in New Zealand today.
It has been 92 days since the last case of COVID-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source.
The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is now 1,212, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.
The total number of active cases in New Zealand’s managed isolation and quarantine facilities to 22, unchanged from yesterday.
There is no one in New Zealand receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19.
Both new cases are women travelling together. They are in their 20s and arrived from Pakistan via Dubai on 27 July. Both have been in managed isolation in the Sudima in Rotorua and are now being transferred to the quarantine facility in Auckland.
Yesterday our laboratories completed 3,002 tests, of which 2,606 swabs were taken in the community, and 396 were taken in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.
That brings the total number of tests completed to date to 468,068.
COVID-19 case in South Korea
There continues to be no evidence of any transmission in New Zealand involving the traveller who tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival in South Korea.
All domestic contacts of this case tested to date have returned negative results.
While these results reinforce that the public health risk from this case continues to be low, further contact tracing is taking place around their travel within New Zealand, including their visit to the Queenstown area in early July, the South Auckland area where they were based and Christchurch where they departed from.
In addition this weekend, we are doing targeted surveillance in Queenstown, South Auckland and Christchurch – locations connected to the case in South Korea.
This person was in South Auckland from 20 June – 20 July, Queenstown from 1 – 4 July and in and around Christchurch Airport on 20 and 21 July.
The surveillance testing is going well. From Auckland today we can report a steady number of people coming forward at four new model community testing centres which are open till 3pm this afternoon. There’s still plenty of capacity across all the centres located at Northcote, Eden Terrace, Henderson and Wiri.
Testing in Christchurch has already been targeted to people who were at the limited number of locations the case visited while staying overnight in Christchurch on 20 July and also staff at Christchurch Airport who processed the flight he travelled on to Singapore.
Canterbury DHB has had an excellent response to the offer of testing and all tested so far have had negative results. Canterbury DHB is also tracing and testing identified contacts who visited the Southern DHB Region who are now back in Canterbury.
Testing is available through GPs or from one of three Urgent Care Centres in Christchurch: Riccarton Clinic, 24Hour Surgery or Moorhouse Medical.
Public Health South reports a noticeable increase in testing across its region since yesterday including Queenstown. The DHB has passed on its thanks to everyone who has participated so far. The DHB also wants to thank local businesses involved for supporting the contact tracing and targeted testing efforts around this case.
In general, if you have, or may have had, symptoms please contact Healthline or your GP for an assessment for testing. The COVID-19 assessment and COVID-19 testing are both free.
People who may have been in those areas around those dates but have now moved elsewhere can call Healthline or their GP for further advice about getting tested.
We want to thank all possible contacts who have been tested around this case and we continue to encourage everyone who is offered a test to take this up. These negative test results provide us with confidence that New Zealand has no community transmission of COVID-19.
Testing is the best way we can be assured that there is no undetected community transmission in New Zealand – and we need everyone to play their part in that. If you are offered a test for COVID-19 please get swabbed.
Anyone concerned about their health as a result of this update can call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
Travellers to Australia
We can provide context around two instances currently being reported in the media, both involving female passengers who have travelled from Auckland to Sydney last month.
The first involves a woman who transited through Auckland from Los Angeles to Sydney on 6 July. At this point there are not considered to be any close contacts who need to be traced or tested but enquiries continue with both the airline and airport.
The second involves a woman who travelled from Auckland to Sydney on 20 July. We have already talked directly with the person concerned.
At this point, it appears the person may have been a previously unconfirmed case from March and this is likely to have led to the positive test result.
We will continue to fully investigate the circumstances of this positive result, including travel history.
Auckland Regional Public Health is now following up with household contacts in Auckland and other contacts as appropriate.
Adopting a risk based approach, testing and self-isolation has been implemented for close contacts.