Prevention measures and PPE use at the Jet Park Hotel are being reviewed after a worker tested positive, the first case in the five-and-a-half months the quarantine facility has been operating.

The worker was one of two new cases of Covid-19 reported by the Ministry of Health today. The other is an imported case in managed isolation.

The worker is a health care worker who tested negative last week, but tested positive this week in the first week of weekly routine testing of Jet Park workers.

Air Commodore Darryn Webb said the worker was tested on Friday morning, and the health care worker did not work at any site other than the Jet Park.

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The MIQ team is now reviewing staffing logs, swipe-card data and CCTV footage to map the person's movements in recent days.

Five household contacts connected to the health worker are in isolation at their home and are being tested today.

"This case is still being investigated to determine if the infection came from the community or from within the quarantine facility, though at this stage no obvious links to other cases in the community have been established," the ministry said.

Genome sequencing of the health worker's Covid-19 is being undertaken and results are expected tomorrow.

Protocols and procedures are now being double-checked at the facility, where there is a higher risk of infection.

"Staff at the facility regarded as close contacts have been stood down and a deep clean of staff areas at the facility has been completed," the ministry said.

"All staff at the quarantine facility are being retested over the next 48 hours. That process began last night with 48 staff tested and more are being tested today."

Webb said the remainder would be tested by the end of tomorrow.

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"Any close contacts identified will be required to self-isolate and be tested," Webb said.

"Hospital grade cleaning of medical and operational staff rooms has been carried out using a Bioquell machine, which sanitises with hydrogen peroxide vapour," Webb said.

The returnee in managed isolation arrived from South Africa on September 8 and remains in quarantine in Canterbury.

There are 33 cases in the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship Church group and 15 cases in the bereavement events sub-cluster; 98 per cent of the church congregation have now been tested, as have 98 per cent of those attending the bereavement events.

There are three people in hospital with Covid-19 – one is in isolation on a ward in Auckland City Hospital. Two are in ICU, at North Shore and Waikato hospitals.
The number of active cases is now 97.

Of those, 39 are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 58 are community cases.

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Yesterday, there were 7211 tests processed.

Ministry for Pacific Peoples chief executive Laulu Mac Leauanae (left) and director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield and will be doing a Q&A on Facebook live at 1pm. Photo / Screenshot
Ministry for Pacific Peoples chief executive Laulu Mac Leauanae (left) and director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield and will be doing a Q&A on Facebook live at 1pm. Photo / Screenshot

With one day until Cabinet decides whether to ease alert level restrictions, the ministry provided an update on case numbers just after 1pm today.

And director general of health Ashley Bloomfield and Ministry for Pacific Peoples chief executive Laulu Mac Leauanae answered viewers' questions on Facebook.

Despite the growing Mt Roskill church cluster, Leauanae told the Facebook Live session that the Pacific church communities had responded with "pace and speed".

There was initially some reluctance in the group to cooperate with health officials, and Leauanae said there was a lot more clarity about what contact tracing, testing and social distancing meant by the second week of the current outbreak.

Bloomfield sought to address misinformation by saying Covid-19 was 10 times more dangerous than the normal flu, and he mentioned Dr Joe Williams' death as an example of how serious it is.

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He said New Zealand would have seen 3500 deaths, 20 per cent of which would have been among healthcare workers, if New Zealand had followed the strategy that was used in the UK.

So far New Zealand has 24 deaths from Covid-19.

Leauanae asked people not to share information from sources outside the ministry.

Bloomfield added that church services were particularly infectious events because they were often indoors, with large gatherings, and where people are often singing. Covid-19 is spread via air droplets, and singing is one activity that has been shown to spread it more easily.

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Cabinet will tomorrow review the Covid-19 alert level situation, with any changes to be made from Wednesday at 11.59pm.

Yesterday the ministry reported two new cases of Covid-19 - two young girls aged between 10 and 14 years old.

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One of the new cases is a pupil of Sunnyvale School in West Auckland, which will open tomorrow despite the positive case.

The Sunnyvale School pupil didn't go to school while infectious and Auckland Regional Public Health Service has not identified any close contacts.

The school is deemed safe to attend, however it will be deep cleaned as a precaution, parents, caregivers, and staff were told via Facebook.

The cases are associated with the bereavement events sub-cluster, which is linked to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship Church group.

It comes after a protest yesterday against the Government's restrictions, with a few thousand people in downtown Auckland. It was organised by Advance Party co-leaders Jami-Lee Ross and Billy Te Kahika.

There was little social distancing and few masks worn during the event.

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