No new community case of Covid-19 today – Chris Hipkins

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There is no new community case of Covid-19 today, the health ministry has confirmed.

Watch the Covid-19 update here:

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said at least half of the Papatoetoe High School community has been tested and the results so far have all been negative.

Hipkins thanked the school for their leadership and for their positive response.

Chief Health Officer Dr Ashley Bloomfield said there were two new cases at MIQ – one of which is historic.

He says he knows yesterday’s news is disturbing, “but it doesn’t have to be alarming.”

There are 11 cases of Covid-19 in total in the Auckland cluster.

Dr Bloomfield says genomic testing links the original schoolgirl and yesterday’s first case, also a student at the school.

He says the places of interest page on the Department of Health website is a one-stop-shop for information for contacts.

At Papatoetoe High School, 328 tests were performed today. Six students have not yet been tested.

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There are also 874 people who indicated they were in a place of interest in relation to yesterday’s cases.

These people are treated as close contacts, says Dr Bloomfield.

He says home visits are made as needed to make sure people get the support they need.

Several of the recent cases of Covid-19 have exhibited atypical symptoms such as muscle aches and fatigue, and this is something people should keep in mind, Dr Bloomfield stressed.

The wastewater tests came back negative.

Regarding Covid-19 vaccinations, Hipkins claims that today the first 40 border workers at Christchurch airport received the vaccine – the first in the South Island.

He says 76,000 doses were shipped to New Zealand yesterday.

Almost 500,000 special-purpose needles also arrived yesterday.

Hipkins says he’s not far from any wasted vaccine doses.

Dr Bloomfield says he has heard reports from the United States that the vaccine can be stored at a lower temperature rather than a very low temperature, but it is when the vaccine should be used that is important.

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He says that while some families were contacted, they did not go for a test.

There were no visits until the end of the weekend, he said.

“There may have been reasons why they couldn’t pass the test, remembering the youngest student is only 13 and maybe had to rely on others to take the test .

This is why the protocol of not allowing students to return unless they received a negative test was important, he says.

In most cases, nurses were able to get six doses from the five-dose vial, says Dr. Bloomfield.

Yesterday, the Department of Health announced three new community cases of Covid-19, all connected to the last cluster and the entire UK variant.

The three new cases belong to the same family.

The person who works at Kmart was, one of the days she worked, providing click and collect for clients. Bloomfield says it will be easy to trace. She also stood at the front of the store and counted the number of people entering during a shift, he said.

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Hipkins says work is underway to support all families affected by the latest community cases.

Dr Bloomfield says it is important for testing to be done at least five days after exposure to the virus.

Hipkins says people are urged to self-isolate for a reason and people need to do the right thing – it helps us avoid further action.

Dr Bloomfield says he has been told that it might be good for him to be vaccinated soon.

He says he doesn’t want to be seen skipping the line, but he says people can see this as proof of his confidence in the vaccine.

Earlier today, Dr Bloomfield said he didn’t think a change in alert levels was necessary.

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