There are six new cases of COVID-19 detected in managed isolation facilities to report in New Zealand today. There are no new community cases.
All six cases were identified during routine testing around day 3 of their stay in managed isolation. One person arrived from the Netherlands via Singapore on 23 October, and four people arrived from India on 24 October. We are seeking details of the sixth person’s arrival.
Two previously reported cases are now considered to have recovered, bringing the total number of active cases to 70.
Our total number of confirmed cases is now 1,593.
Yesterday our laboratories completed 7,403 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,083,230.
A reminder that anyone who becomes unwell should seek a test immediately – this will help us rapidly identify, isolate and trace any cases of COVID-19 and stop the virus spreading in our communities.
The crew of the cargo ship Ken Rei were all tested for COVID-19 again yesterday. They have all returned a second negative test result.
The ship will today depart Napier and head for Tauranga.
We continue to work with our Japanese counterparts regarding a New Zealand child who returned a weak positive COVID-19 test after their arrival in Japan last Friday 23 October.
We suspect this is a historical case or a false positive result, and will provide further details when they are available.
Contact tracing card
The Ministry is pleased to confirm that the trial programme for the proposed contact tracing card is now moving into the final ‘on the ground’ and analysis phases.
The Ministry has worked closely in partnership with Te Arawa and the Universities of Waikato and Otago to co-design these phases of the programme. Te Arawa knows the Ngongotahâ community better than anyone and has the skills and experience needed to support a successful community trial.
The programme aims to recruit between 500 and 1,500 members of the Ngongotahâ community, who will be asked to wear the cards as they go about their daily activities and attend community events. Registration will commence on 30 October, and the trial process will finish on 15 November.
The cards use Bluetooth to exchange ‘digital handshakes’ with each other to keep an anonymised record of participants’ close contacts with each other.
The trial will help us understand how well the contact tracing cards perform in a real-world scenario, whether they are compatible with our contact tracing systems, and if people will accept and use them.
The results of the trial will help inform a decision by Government later this year on whether contact tracing cards should be rolled out more widely to support contact tracing alongside the NZ COVID Tracer app.
NZ COVID Tracer
The app recorded 808,250 poster scans over the last 24 hours – it is encouraging to see the uptick in scans continue following the long weekend. A further 29,605 manual diary entries were created over the same period.
The better our habits are in Alert Level 1, the more likely we will be able to stay here without the restrictions of higher levels.
Everyone must continue to do their bit to keep New Zealand free of COVID-19.
There are now 2,332,300 users registered on the app.
We need every one of them to keep signing into places using the NZ COVID Tracer app, and encourage others to do the same.