Covid-19 coronavirus: Health teams to give Valentine’s Day Covid cluster update

An open home was held at the property of one of the recent Covid-19 cases.

The vieiwing took place at a Papatoetoe address on Saturday and a causal-plus contact of an existing Covid-19 case was present, but stayed in a bedroom throughout the event.

The real estate agent and three attendees were all contacted by Public Health officials on Tuesday after the tenant tested positive.

There are no new cases of Covid-19 in the community and three in MIQ, the Ministry of Health has reported.

One of the three cases in managed isolation today is a historical case and not regarded as infectious.

There were no new community cases added to the 11-strong Valentine’s Day cluster yesterday, while health teams today said they had tracked down all but one student from Papatoetoe High School as they sought to retest everyone at the school.

Health teams were now shifting their focus to the hundreds of customers at two East Auckland stores where a Covid-positive teenager worked and shopped regarded as close contacts.

It comes after Ministry of Health revealed on Tuesday that a teenage Aucklander was one of three people confirmed with the virus, all from the same household.

Tuesday’s initial case was a Papatoetoe High School student known as Case I.

She has not been at school, but was a casual plus contact of the first Papatoetoe High School case from the February cluster and had been advised to self-isolate and get tested.

Her infection led health teams to immediately set about retesting all students at the school.

This included sending teams out to door knock the homes of students who hadn’t been tested in the initial round of testing.

The doorknocking teams announced last night that they now had just one Papatoetoe High student left to track down.

The 10-day delay to reach the final handful of students was labelled “frustrating” by Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins.

Meanwhile, the other confirmed cases from the household, included Case K – an infant, who didn’t have childcare outside the home – and a teenage sibling, known as Case J.

The teenage girl had recently finished school and worked two shifts at Kmart Botany, folding clothes, greeting people at the entry and manning the click-and-collect counter in the evenings on February 19 and 20, the ministry said.

The store’s 300 staff are deemed newly created “close plus contacts” and have been told to isolate and get tested while the 870 shoppers identified as being there during the teen’s shifts are “close contacts”.

They have also been told to stay home for the full 14 days and get two tests out of the need to be “especially cautious”.

These tests are to take place today and again on March 4.

The teenager also visited the Dark Vapes store twice.

A new advisory has been issued for people who share a house with Kmart Botany and Dark Vapes customers and staff.

If you share a house with a staff member health authorities are advising everyone to stay in their homes until the employee returns a negative day five test result.

If you share a house with a customer the advice is only to stay at home if the customer has symptoms.

No new community cases were added to the 11-strong Valentine’s Day cluster yesterday.

Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield earlier said one of the reasons some of the Papatoetoe students didn’t get tested earlier could have been that they faced barriers like relying on a family member to get to a testing centre.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service said in the event someone couldn’t be contacted other factors – like not having an active phone, not speaking English or personal circumstances – could be at play.

Bloomfield said the key thing was ensuring the students were isolating because they couldn’t return to school without a negative result.

“You can’t rely on luck with this virus. That’s why we had the protocol in about not returning to school unless they have a negative test and that transpired to be exactly the right thing to have done.”

Top epidemiologist Michael Baker says being able to contact and test 98 per cent of the school’s 1500 students and 150 staff within a week was an example of the system “working well”.

Source: Read Full Article