Minggu, 14 Februari 2021

Jacinda Ardern announces three-day lockdown for Auckland after three new COVID-19 cases -

Auckland has been thrown into a three-day lockdown after three new COVID-19 cases were detected with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern urging New Zealanders to “stay home”.

On Sunday, Ms Ardern said Auckland will move to COVID-19 alert level 3 from 11.59pm tonight for three days.

The rest of New Zealand will be at level 2, Ms Ardern said.

Those alert levels will be reviewed in 24 hours.

“Stay home. If you are not at work, school, exercising or getting essentials, then you must be at home, the same as at level 4,” she said.

The city was placed on alert after three community COVID-19 cases were detected in South Auckland. Three days should allow the government to get more information and get more testing done, Ms Ardern said.

Students will be asked to stay at home, but schools in Auckland will stay open to accommodate for the children of parents who need to work.

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According to the New Zealand Herald, a mother, father and daughter from Papatoetoe tested positive.

She said you can exercise at parks or beaches within your region, but the closer to home the better. Activities must be safe – keep two metres away from anyone not in your bubble – and residents should make minimal trips.

You can go for a swim or a surf and fish from the shore or a wharf, but don’t cast off from the rocks or use the boat. But make sure you do these safely and don’t use it as an excuse to catch up with all your surfing or swimming buddies.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins fronted a press conference in the Beehive with Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield this afternoon.

Ardern said “we need to act with a high degree of caution” and “go hard and early”.

Supermarkets and petrol stations will remain open so there was “no need to rush out to get any essential items.”

Public venues, such as pools and playgrounds, will be closed.

Gatherings in Auckland are now reduced to 10 people.

“If you can, postponement is the best thing at this point,” she said.

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New Zealand was placed on alert on Sunday after three community COVID-19 cases were detected in South Auckland.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins fronted a press conference in the Beehive with Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield this afternoon.

The mother and daughter have returned tests which confirm they are “new and active”, Hipkins said. New Zealand is still at alert level 1, he said.

There have been no changes made to NZ‘s alert level settings at this stage, and more information will be available tonight.

He said there are still “gaps in our knowledge” around the cases. For example, the source of the contraction is a “piece of the puzzle” that is needed.

Decisions from this point onwards would be influenced by science, he said. The two things the Government will be looking for is evidence of the source and whether there is any evidence of spread.

Hipkins said genome sequencing in this instance will be very important.

The mother works at LSG Sky chefs, one of the world‘s largest airline catering providers.

Officials are checking the workplace to see if anyone else is COVID-19 positive. The father is a self-employed tradesman.

The daughter is a student at Papatoetoe High School, which will be closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Papatoetoe High School principal Vaughan Couillault said the infected student is a Year 9 student who was only at school for one day last week, on Wednesday.

Mr Couillault said the student stayed at home on Thursday and Friday after her mother became unwell. Last Monday was a holiday and he did not know why the student was not at school on Tuesday.

Five teachers and 28 students are considered close contacts of the infected student and all other students and staff at the school are “casual” contacts.

Mr Couillault has notified all staff and parents by text and email this afternoon.

“Staff and students and their families are being asked to self-isolate for two days if they are casual contacts,” Couillault said.

A testing facility will be provided at the school this week.

Couillault said the student did not attend “any assemblies or anything like that” on Wednesday.

“So in terms of identification, we have probably the smallest numbers of teachers and students that we could have for a Year 9 student,” he said.

Over Waitangi weekend, two of the cases went to New Plymouth, with February 6-8 the time frame.

Bloomfield said there was now a process of “an ongoing period of information gathering”.

There was also one case in managed isolation announced today.

One close contact of the three people in the community had tested negative, Hipkins said.

PM Jacinda Ardern is returning from Auckland to Wellington to be briefed.

“We are gathering all the facts as quickly as we can,” he said.

Hipkins said the message was to follow the previously announced health and safety measures.

“There is no such thing as no risk, so long as COVID-19 is out there,” he said.

He said there are still “a lot of questions” that still need to be answered.

Hipkins said there has been no scheduled Cabinet meeting this evening but that could be changed quickly if needed.


* Three community cases in South Auckland – a father, mother and daughter.

* No change to alert levels at this stage, with more information expected this evening.

* The mother works at LSG Sky Chefs in Mangere.

* The daughter goes to Papatoetoe High School which will be closed tomorrow and Tuesday.

* Two of the confirmed cases visited various locations in New Plymouth on February 6-7. It‘s unclear if they were infectious when they visited.

* They also visited Pak N Save Manukau on Friday February 12 for about 15 minutes, sometime between 3.45pm and 5pm.

This article originally appeared on the NZ Herald and was reproduced with permission

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2021-02-14 07:20:25Z

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