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COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) update – 17 August, 2020 1pm | Ministry of Health NZ

i'm sorry welcome back to mama to her order the ministry of health and thank you for making the trip up the road it's a beautiful day so hopefully you enjoyed adding to your steps for the day now there are nine new confirmed cases of covert 19 to report today all are in the community and there are no new cases in managed isolation facilities from travellers coming across the border seven of the new cases have already been linked to previous cases in the cluster and we have a total of four cases that remain under investigation including two of the new ones which have arrived very recently into the database based on the information available so far they are all believed to be linked to that same community cluster now as of six o'clock last evening 86 people linked to the cluster have been moved into a quarantine facility that includes 36 people who have tested positive and household contacts there are five people receiving hospital level care for covert 19 currently two are in auckland city hospital on wards and three are in middlemore hospital also on wards the three people in middlemore had been transferred from the jet park facility and all are people who are connected to the cluster so the nine new confirmed cases today bring our total number of cases to 1280 that is our total number of confirmed cases and the total number of active cases is 78 of which 58 are our cases that relate to this community cluster and 20 uh imported cases that are in managed isolation actually in our quarantine facility moving on to testing we're continuing to see record levels of testing and our labs are continuing to meet the demand for levels we have not previously seen before or processed and yesterday our laboratories around the country processed twenty six thousand and fourteen tests for covert nineteen so the total number of tests completed since the start of the uh pandemic in new zealand is five hundred and ninety seven thousand nine hundred and fifty six of which almost 100 000 have been completed in the last week or so now as previously reported because of the high volumes there can be delays in processing at the labs of up to 48 hours but the labs continue to prioritize the tests that are from people who might be at higher risk of returning a positive result that is close contacts or others who have had contact with one of the existing cases and just a reminder only people who have symptoms should be seeking advice and or presenting for testing so we can ensure that all the swabs are processed processed as quickly as possible which helps us define and contain the outbreak so testing at the border for uh workforce at both airports and ports has continued to increase there's a dedicated uh testing team with extended hours now at the ports of auckland to ensure good access to testing there for the workforce there is also testing of all government frontline government agency frontline staff at the auckland border customs biosecurity immigration new zealand and aviation security all either complete or about to be completed there's a new team that's gone into the tauranga port that just this afternoon and over the next few days that will be supplemented with additional testing people so they will be able to test several thousand workers at the port of tauranga over the next few days we're also continuing to test staff working in managed isolation and quarantine facilities around the country and in auckland where more than 2 500 staff work uh over 2100 had already been swapped on site and uh by the end of yesterday and of course quite a number would have also been tested uh by their gp or at sea backs just a word on casual contacts and understandably there is a significant interest and in some cases some anxiety around casual uh contact tracing activity uh from organizations or locations where cases may have been for a shorter or longer period now our contact tracing processes do involve in-depth interviews uh often more than once usually more than once with confirmed cases to get a full picture of anyone that they may have been in close contact with and likewise other places they may have been just to help with our casual contact tracing now many of the reports in the media are of organizations or locations been closed due to positive cases having been at that location for a period however in most of these instances the people were there who were there at the same time are simply casual contacts and all they need to do at this point is to monitor their health and get advice from gp or health line if they become unwell some casual contacts depending on the situation may be asked to be tested and they will be asked to be isolated or self-isolate until the test results come back we have been using the covered tracer app to contact or notify people in some of those relevant con locations and times when they have scanned in and i've asked the team to also publish publish those location and time details on our website so some locations of interest over the last two days are the botany mall between 1 and 2 p.m on the 11th of august butterbean motivation between 5 15 and 6 a.m on the 10th of august that's a fitness class at school road in kingsland then eden junior rugby club in gribblehurst park sandringham between 5 30 and 6 30 pm on the 11th of august and also a guinea pig show at the auckland cavi club and hall road between 10 a.m and 2 p.m on the 8th of august the important note here is that the risk from these locations is invariably very low so people should not feel the need to avoid those areas or organizations this is just simply of us casting a wide net and making sure that anyone who might have been in those locations is aware and to be aware of symptoms on to the nz covered tracer app which is now recorded 1442 300 registered users that's an increase of uh just over 68 000 in the last 24 hours there are now 210 266 qr codes generated an increase of over 16 000 in the last 24 hours and in the last 24 hours there were 833 000 and 20 poster scans undertaken and the total number of poster scans is now over 6.2 million so great to see new zealanders not only registering with the app so we have their up-to-date contact details but also using it just moving on to the testing the environmental testing at the mount wellington americold facilities the swabs were taken over the weekend and flown to esr here in wellington for testing it will take some time to process all those swabs there is a number and it's quite a sophisticated and indeed novel process for this virus we need all those tests to be completed to get a full picture and they are expected during the week we will of course outline those results as soon as they're aware i should say that even if some of those swabs return a positive test the challenge will be in determining the direction of any contamination that might have occurred and it may be difficult to get any dna rna material it will be from those environmental swabs which can then be genome sequencing but obviously that is the aim if we possibly can on a related note um supermarkets have said that some customers are concerned about for frozen goods and a reminder that the new zealand food safety team has reviewed the most recent science from around the world on being infected with covert 19 through contact with food and food packaging and there's no evidence of transmission via food or food packaging to date and remembering that those goods that come through a merry cold are have a number of other layers outside them uh in addition to the the packaging of the actual food and of course i need to give a plug for normal hygiene procedures so frequent and effective hand washing and use of alcohol-based hand gels before preparing food is is of course ideal and recommended so finally just to reiterate the point i've been making this is a tricky virus the virus is the problem of people we are all collectively the solution and it's been heartening very heartening to see the number of people coming forward to be tested and those who have tested positive are to be commended on the fact that not only did they come forward but they then have assisted in detailed follow-up so that we can find where this outbreak is and ring fence it and i'm certainly wanting to commend them for their actions and i think they deserve nothing less than our thanks and praise i'm happy to take questions um last week um the prime minister said that there was regular testing it ordered borders and managed isolation facilities however by your and the health minister's own omission that wasn't taking place was did you mislead the prime minister's cabinet about this uh no one was misled what i would say is that there was testing happening at our managed isolation and quarantine facilities around the country it was uh rolling out and scaling up and just to put that in perspective and i've seen this several times including i think last week the there are 32 managed isolation facilities with a large number of staff and we were working up how to ensure that all the staff there were tested including the hotel staff as well as those on secondment remembering that they are working shifts some of those staff were also being tested in the community for example defence force staff at linton and ohakia were being tested once they had gone back off their shifts so it was rolling out we were increasing the frequency of that testing but just to reiterate there was testing happening and at the same time we were also rolling it out for our staff at the airports and at our 17 ports around the country but not all of that testing could happen at once so it was scaling up but the prime minister's the prime minister's clear expectation was that was already happening and what you were telling us today that it was rolling out so where's the miscommunication there why was she in cabinet thinking that it was already taking place whereas you're telling us today that it was actually a process leading up to that point well uh just to just to affirm the point i made actually testing was happening and if you go back if we go back and look at our managed isolation facilities they had all had some testing happening what was scaling up was the size of the teams and the frequency with which they could go back into each facility and it was taking some time remembering this was being done under alert level one where our health system is providing care right across the spectrum for new zealanders i can say that we were working very closely with the dhbs in auckland as well as in canterbury and here in wellington to make sure that the testing was being ramped up to test everybody and at the same time and i want to make this point too this was an adjunct to a number of other things we were doing including independent infection prevention control audits of the facilities and we had introduced a number of new measures like masks for all guests from uh from plane to room when they first arrived in much wider use of masks in the facilities we've been told that some people are waiting up to five days to get their test results is that good enough look it's it is a pity that people are having to wait that long but i just want to reiterate the points i've made in the last couple of days is it can take 48 hours for that lab turnaround if the result is positive there is immediate action and the res the tests that are more likely to be positive are prioritized um i know that it can be a nervous weight for people and i do want to acknowledge that but you'll see from the volumes which are really really high that our labs are doing a fantastic job of processing a lot of swabs i you know apologize for the weight in getting the results back for some people but rest assured if the result was positive they would hear very very quickly is the way your test results are a wide scale problem that you're aware of aware of and you're not aware i don't know i suspect there may have been slightly longer delays over the weekend because many general practices are shut and often it's the general practice that then passes the information through so i my expectation would be that overcoming days that that weight will drop if there are specific reports we often we will follow up directly with the lab and the dhb uh to see what can be done to expedite getting that return of results do you accept that that second testing policy wasn't implemented as it should have been under your watch uh it was being implemented and as i say this was quite extensive testing across a number of sites a number of workforces it requires a lot of coordination with ourselves with those in charge of the managed isolation facilities those in charge of a range of workforces at the airports what i can say is that the minister was very clear that they wanted that testing to roll out as quickly as possible and we were working with the dhbs and very focused on making sure that happened that it wasn't happening uh we were giving the minister and cabinet very regular updates on the extent of that and you know based on our updates again they were um making sure uh on a very regular basis that we were quite clear about the imperative to get the testing scaled up as quickly as possible for our border workers as one part one part of continuing to strengthen our border measures understanding though was that the policy had been rolled out as expected did you check to see that it was happening i was checking every single day and you know there was clearly a dissonance between what the prime minister thought was happening and what was happening on the ground uh but that doesn't mean we were we weren't providing full information through so it may be in the way the information was communicated i think what we've seen over the last few days remembering again that this is in response to a an outbreak we have seen border workers actually instructed under an order to be tested i think the other thing i would say is that there was testing happening right across our managed isolation quarantine facilities and also the airports but remembering we were in alert level one the testing was voluntary and like other new zealanders uh many of our workers in those settings didn't necessarily feel that they there was a need or an imperative to get a test particularly because every day when they turned up to work they were being checked for symptoms including temperatures being taken and so on so this was another adjunct work was happening with unions and others just to increase the uptake of the testing we're now in a situation uh with the outbreak where there's a specific order requiring them to be tested and as you can see they're coming forward and being very clear should that order already have been in place right from the beginning well uh at the point at the point in time remember again we were under alert level one and at that point in time we were going through a process of scaling up the testing availability working with unions ensuring that we knew who all the workforces were who were rotating in and out in different roles making sure we had that information and ensuring that even those on night shifts or who are off duty could get in for testing as well and again some of that testing we know was happening with general practices not necessarily at the facilities it's only now that we have got coding in the labs that will be able to tell us exactly who from those managed isolation facilities has actually been tested on a june 23rd press release um the minister of the health of the time said radio health checks on an asus asus symphomatic testing on all water-facing workers would be underway why would it take so long between now and then to actually get it up and running when we've seen over the weekend that the minister has implemented it and it's it's taken place over 72 hours look i just want to take you back to um we were the whole country and we know was operating in an alert level one setting that didn't mean that our border facilities have been at loot level one we have been running these incredibly tightly since the 9th of april and put in place a number of strengthening measures since that time this was another one we were putting in place you know we had also put in place the regular testing day three and day 12 for all guests there so again just think about this as part of the of the of the suite of actions that were underway but it we couldn't suddenly flick a switch and test all members of that workforce overnight we were keeping the minister and cabinet very regularly updated on progress with rolling over so they were being updated with progress so at one hand you've got the prime minister and the minister of health that thought that it was happening on the other hand you were updating them so it's at the end of the day was this just a miscommunication well i think the prime minister and minister we're making really clear what their expectation is i certainly felt and communicated that expectation and i know that our team and the dhb teams were working extremely hard to get that testing rolled out and also we were working with our colleagues who are managing those managed isolation facilities as well to make sure the workforces were available so that they could be tested the problem here is that they were under the impression that regular testing was already happening yet it wasn't happening and you're saying there was you were scaling it up and ramping it up yeah but why were they then under the impression that it was already in place well i'll just go back to the point i was making there was testing happening in the facilities absolutely yeah and and what i'm trying to point out is the the challenge and complexity of rolling that out so that it encompassed all of the workforces in all of those facilities as well as at our ports and airports and what i what i don't want to have leaving any anyone in any doubt is the fact that the teams were working incredibly hard to roll that out as quickly as possible that's not in dispute either what's in dispute is they were under the impression that it was happening regularly not that it wasn't happening at all just that it was happening regularly so where is that well again if we go back most of those managed isolation facilities had had teams in more than once so what we were trying to do was first of all capture all the workforce and then increase the frequency of the testing so that it was every two to three weeks for every member of the workforce and again i just want to come back to the complexity here and we were operating in an environment under level 1 where the testing was voluntary so look i think i think i don't have anything more to say about that but it's a i just want to reiterate there was absolutely a lot of activity going on to ensure that all the workforces would be tested regularly but in your mind there's been no failure here no i don't think there's been a failure um you know i think that um i know there's there's a desire to look for a point of failure here our border systems have we have been continually strengthening we have added in the testing of workforce which was being scaled up as part of belt and braces we have done added in audits of infection prevention and control we have added in the wider use of mast we've got really clear procedures and i understand that but the health minister has said that there has been a failure and he has accepted responsibility for that you disagree with me well i don't think he said there was a failure i i i'm pretty sure because i was so testing hasn't been done as he expected yeah i think that's that's right and what i'm saying is that the expectation was that all board of staff would be tested uh regularly and that was what was being rolled out for not meeting the prime minister's expectations oh look i've talked about this with the prime minister and minister of health and my sense is what they're really interested in is how we make sure that that testing does scale up and be available regularly for all board of staff at the moment of course we've got a huge workforce that is out there doing that as part of the response to the outbreak and again they're working around the clock to make sure that happens so um i think i feel i feel the keenness of their expectation and uh and the responsibility that i have to getting the supply chain from the americorps facility back through the courts and through the shipping workers and stuff like that how's that investigation going is there any update on that i don't have an update on that sort of end-to-end investigation there are a couple of things i've mentioned the environmental swabbing from the facility in mount wellington and we're also expecting back to date uh today i hope the results of the testing of um uh melbourne based workers who work in the americold uh setting in melbourne or facility in melbourne and the lab there is doing the genomic sequencing there just to see whether it's a similar or a different pattern to the genome sequencing from the outbreak we have here so that will be again another small piece and a puzzle that will help us possibly rule in and also possibly rule out whether there is a link there that's still the main focus of the investigation look it's one focus i wouldn't say it's the main one um we we still don't have any particular clues as to what the origin of the outbreak is our first focus is on course on um uh mapping the full extent of it and the full extent of infection and then managing that outbreak it will be once we have that complete picture we are much more likely to be able to then go back and trace the origin of it um and you know it's somehow the virus is coming across the border i think we're confident that it wasn't brewing away uh or a sort of a slow burning ember in the community the question of where it's come across the border and how um is what's it it's what we're trying to answer those two questions we may we may find uh some clues as to where but we may still never quite answer the question of how it was transmitted but we'll do our best to do that close to having the contours of the cluster look i think we're we're getting closer all the time again if we look at the number of new cases today given the extent of testing that has happened over the last few days i think that's encouraging and the fact that we we've got four cases yes still under investigation the genomic sequencing will will help there but it the sense we have is that we are dealing at the moment with a single cluster a single outbreak and um thanks to the efforts of the community in in coming forward for that testing we're getting i think a full idea as you say of the contours of the of the outbreak i've spoken to some workers at the ports who say they've been given conflicting advice about um whether they can work or not until they've had their test results what are the rules on that and do you know why they've been receiving completing advice i can't say where they'd be receiving conflicting advice can i just check is this at one point in particular is it ports i will check that yes these uh the advice is um well actually there are sort of some members of the workforce who are at slightly higher risk perhaps have been exposed like the um ships the pilots who go out to the ships and or stevedores who might have more would be more likely to have contact with the ship's crew so there may be a differentiation in advice for those people compared with those who are much more casual who may have just been coming driving trucks in and then out and not had any contact but i can check that so for truck drivers if they haven't received a negative test result yet they can keep working i don't i don't want to preempt what advice they have been given but i'll definitely follow that up and make sure it's consistent are planning on making regional bubbles is that something that you would encourage well uh at the moment we've got the whole of uh aotearoa outside of auckland and at level two and there's no particular reason at the moment to create regional bubbles or further boundaries as it were around specific regions i know that some of those both there and elsewhere and other communities have concerns and i suggest that they if they're not already and i suspect they are that they're talking with with the local dhb and with um those in central government who are leading some of those conversations with communities certainly at the moment um as we just described aside from the two cases in tokurawa there's nothing that has shown so far that there are any cases outside of that auckland region so that's encouraging and i think that we should take some comfort from that when it comes to a few concerns about community cases we've been hearing from people who are just wondering when they go into quarantine can you tell us who exactly will be going into quarantine because it seems from the data you've provided today that there's about 2.4 cases 2.4 people going into quarantine for every case that that that goes into quarantine is it entire family say if you're a single parent with one kid is your kid coming to quarantine with you uh what we're generally trying to do is encourage where we're especially where it's helpful uh for for families is that the case in any house of close household contacts who might be at risk of still developing the infection or showing infection that they go into quarantine they're kept separate in the quarantine facility uh so that it absolutely reduces the risk of passing it on to other household family members or other household members so that's why we see so some of those will be just individual cases uh there but others will be the whole family in there and again the the main one of the key drivers of this is to protect the rest of the whanau members from that infection that's very common inside the household if there's not that uh isolation of the case or cases from other family members right now we've been some people were asking they're saying that the government's advice on masks is a little vague the government's advice is you should wear a face covering when you're out and about does that mean is that limited to public transit in stores does that mean you should wear it once you leave your door if you're in a park if you're on a beach when should people be wearing masks well i always think of out and about as out from my house or my workplace and about in the community so it both it's encouraged both indoors and outdoors but of course the main place is when you're in an indoor environment with people who aren't inside your your work or a household bubble so just online though that's right yes in terms of testing at the port that initial time frame was meant to be tonight midnight tonight is so is that now redundant has it been extended and how risky is the port in terms of allowing the buyers so a couple of questions in that on the first one um been working with the minister to extend the initial order uh the time frame because of that the sheer numbers of workers that needed to be tested and we've been working really well with uh the dhb and the ports both auckland and souranga to get more testing capacity there and also to prioritize the workers who should be tested first and then others who are much lower risk a bit further down a bit later in the week so yes we've extended the time frame there there's no one's going to be penalized if they don't haven't had their uh their test by later tonight um the ports is an area that has there's been quite a lot of focus on already over the last few months and particularly of the last five or six weeks where there's been that specific order in place which has been preventing crew from disembarking uh vessels other than very close to the vessel as required for tying up and unloading and keeping that that physical distancing from port workers so i don't think it's necessarily a high risk um a high risk way that the virus could get into the country but it's again it's part of our really trying to cast the net wide and find is there potentially some risk of infection at the port and do you have revised figures on how many workers or people you think you need to test now for those quotes uh look it's quite hard to get the denominator at several thousand what i can say is that um by by five o'clock yesterday there were over well over a thousand from auckland port and uh that had been tested and uh maybe even higher and that in the ports of tauranga they they will be able to get through two to three thousand just over these coming few days is that date that revised date now specific time or just as it comes actually the order's with the minister at the moment and i can't remember the exact date but that will be um signed and published so i don't want to steal you have you seen comments from the ports chief executives group spokesman charles finney and he said that the ports have been trying to get tested and repeatedly requested testing at the port as recently as two weeks ago but haven't heard anything about it yeah there was um testing at ports not all ports from several weeks ago and starting with a number of ports and again littleton auckland was one of the first ones and again was rolling out around the country starting with those that we thought might be at higher risk so yes that again was another site that we were rolling out testing both of the government workforce so the customs and other mpi staff but also of those working in the ports the challenge with ports is also that there have there's an enormous number of people that come and go into the port operation so it's working out who are those who might be at higher risk and trying to focus regular testing on those sort of implied that their pleas with just being um not heard oh well i just have a different view from charles on that one you mentioned that the um the americans we're just going to go over here yeah thanks i'm just sort of specific around yesterday it was said that um quarantine workers were being tested weekly routinely look i don't have the exact date but it was we were moving too weekly for our quarantine workers because they more likely to be the testing had begun and was moving too weekly and i and again uh i i'd have to go back and look at the data center but two weeks ago or three weeks ago i couldn't i'd have to go back and look what i can say is and i've visited the quarantine facility the jet park in auckland is that's it's got the the strictest protocols around infection prevention control separation of people who are covered positive from others the staff there as i said have daily symptom checks uh when they go in and any with symptoms any symptoms were being swabbed and have been for some time by the the medical officer who's on site so are you saying you're fairly confident that if the virus emerged across the border it didn't come from one of these quarantine facilities we simply don't know what i can say just to reiterate the point is that we've had these arrangements in place since the 9th of april and they've proven so far to be really good and we have done nothing but strengthen them since remembering that we added in the double testing of all people before they could um depart we've been adding in the testing of stuff but also the critical the testing is only one thing even if we were testing everyone every two to three weeks just a reminder that a number of these cases we have found in managed isolation and quarantine the person's tested negative on day three but then positive on day 12 so the testing is one part but by no means the main part of keeping both staff and their families in the community are safe you mentioned some of the people in hospital are they all in stable condition there's some serious concern in fact you know old age or anything like that uh all five are on the ward and at this point the information i have is that all are stable you mentioned that the tests are being sent down from auckland to wellington um in the american storage is it does that mean that the going theory right now the strongest theory is that culvert 19 was brought into the country via this cool storage or is there anything that we could read into that what's the latest theory uh there's nothing uh from on the fact that this is just that the swabs are processed by the esr lab here in wellington um and i was saying a bit earlier on i think you know it's it's a possibility the environmental contamination it's it's probably a lower possibility than the fact that there was some transmission at some other point in the border human to human but again that could have been direct human to human or it could have been direct it could have been human to a contamination of a surface to human and this is what we're trying to find out so that's somebody from another country contaminates it then it comes to new zealand and then somebody from new zealand contaminant or picks it up from the contaminated surface yes and where that may have occurred of course is somewhere at the border which could be at a port it could be at an airport or it could be at one of our managed isolation facilities that's what we want to find out that have had to close are saying that they can open safely just like a supermarket or a dairy what's your response to that uh the the um criteria around who can and can't open under level three are the same as they were last time and uh we've not changed that at all and we'll stick with that for the meantime remembering what we're trying to do here the purpose of that is to reduce the movement and of an interaction between people we know that's worked well for us in the past and our aim is if we can do that uh for uh uh quite um rigorously we can be in an alert level three and two um posture for the shortest amount of time possible that's the aim yes a lot of them are obviously hurting quite a bit more this time around than they were the first time and quite probably argue there's not much of a difference between a butcher or a grocer and say dairy yeah yeah this is certainly something that was very well traversed last time and and just in terms of supporting businesses you will have heard the minister of finance talk about that extension to the wage subsidy and other measures to support businesses who may well be uh really challenged by that uh by the alert levels knowing that there's a lot of fear and anxiety building within martin pacific communities especi especially in south auckland what's being done to help support the mental well-being of those communities and if there's something being done how can these communities access that so uh i don't have the details on that but what i can say is that our team here in the ministry as well as the dhb team um the final pacific whanau aura provider and the maori final provider plus maori and pacific health and social providers are working really actively with those communities my view is they've got really good channels and connections into those communities and they will ensure that people have access to services if they need that i can also say that the 1737 um you know mental health line does have people who can speak a range of languages so that anyone from any of those communities should feel free to use that as well and they can refer people on to other services if needed being given to changing the rule that allows international air crew to fly domestically or travel domestically prior to self-isolation uh not at this point but what i can say is we're working almost daily within new zealand around how we can make sure that that is not a potential route for the virus into the country and they've been incredibly supportive right through that process after there were some reports in the media of uh international airport not complying with the existing restrictions the ministry of health said it would begin auditing for these clients has that occurred and do you know the results of any of those sort of tests uh there was an audit done particularly of the um the route the the north america auckland route uh we sent a couple of staff up there actually to do that order topic uh it didn't identify any particular concerns they also did a survey of your new zealand staff to find out what the challenges were and also what their experience was again i think it provided us with some clues about how things could be strengthened and most recently we've done an audit of staff who have come in on non-air new zealand airlines and who lay over here for a period of the hotel just to check that that process is also very robust i don't have the results of that audit but again it's just part of our constantly trying to find any potential weaknesses and and address them and since the return of cover 19 to sort of the community cases in new zealand last week there have been calls by some commentators that new zealand should abandon the elimination approach and try something more like sweden i think the elimination approach has served us very well and i most commentators not just here but many abroad as well are supporting us continuing that elimination approach and i think you know our aim of course is to get back to level one and to get our economy um back up and running at a hundred percent again achievable target for testing port staff and if so how you know how many and by when well the aim is to test all of those uh who are in those sort of high-risk categories and those will be outlay outlined in the updated order which will come out today from the minister so the aim is to uh test all of those within the next 70 to by the next 72 hours and then other port workers who are at lower risk later in the week just on getting back to level one the um the chief medical advisor in australia paul kelly i think has said that he thinks it's dangerous to be in that sort of alert level where anybody can go to a stadium and you can have these mass gatherings could you foresee a sort of extended level two in new zealand or do you think we will get back to that level one uh i've been working hard on my my um it's trying to see into the future well but it's not making much progress what i would say is i think this outbreak uh will give us pause for thought about what alert level one looks like and what our kind of minimum expectations of every new zealander and of each of us might be under that and and it may well be and i think we should aim to get back to life as normal as possible but the new norm will i think include um perhaps a little more physical distancing more frequent availability and use of hand gels even possibly even use of masks in some settings because what i what a sense is all new zealanders would prefer that we stayed in elite level one and would be prepared to perhaps modify their what our behaviors are in elite level one so i think that's one of the things we should absolutely look at there may be that there's somewhere somewhere between a one and two so we so we can maintain that really open economy and do as much as we as we would like to around attending large events and so on that's just a couple more questions how many of the virus genomes taken from managed isolation quarantine they haven't all been done all the ones that where the sample was um usable in other words there was rna material have been done but that is not all of them and i guess there's a key point i want to make here whilst we haven't established a link between the genome in this current outbreak with any of the samples from managed isolation and quarantine from people who have been positive cases there not all of them were able to be sequenced so it doesn't rule that out that there is a link but at the moment um we haven't been able to rule that in and the earliest onset of symptoms in this new sort of community cluster was july 31 at the moment yes yeah um what did that person do did they stay home after they began developing symptoms or did they continue to move out in the community and go to work for the week or week and a half before sorry i don't have the details on that uh case this is one of the americold workers not the first one who was found but identified through testing as a close contact um but i don't know what the movements were of that person what i can say of course is that um the con the contact tracing would have occurred right from actually the 48 hours before that person became symptomatic so uh 29th of july any possible places that person might have been will have been followed up any close contacts identified isolated and tested do you have a breakdown of how many of the cases are maori and how many are there i don't have the latest figures but we will put that on our website when we do an update and as you will have seen we're now describing this outbreak distinctly from all the rest of the cases we've had so that will include an outbreak my my sense is just thinking about if i can visualize the the table um that there's still a high proportion of the cases ahmadi in pacific actually we don't but let's aim to get that up um we will require a bit of analysis over the next say 24-48 hours so a breakdown by district health board and by ethnicity as we've done in the past and look at the rates of testing staff tested positive at any point sorry what was that border staff ever tested positive i have border staff um no we had we had an mpi worker yes that was quite quite a while ago and one of the current positive tests is actually a port worker but is linked to the outbreak so it happens to be a port worker and of course has been followed up not someone who's has interaction with people at the port a lot of people at the port but just coincidentally because it's quite a large workforce as a port worker generally do you know how many in general the 26 000 ts79 confirmed today that's surely positive signs that the perimeter is being look it is reassuring especially because um remembering all of our close contacts are being tested as we go through this couple more questions one again yeah um we've been told and you know forgive me if this is wrong but one of the people who've confirmed positive in auckland in fact lives in the bay of plenty and was registered as you know being an auckland case due to being tested there is that the case and any concerns about their movements or anything like that no that's not any information i've got at all but uh that if but if that is the case of course we will notify and make sure that the appropriate contact tracing is done yes and just um back to the whole tension around where the tests were being done at vmiq and waterstone previously you've said that you know um cabinet was being briefed appropriately expectation was filtering all the way down you you were explaining to the dhbs what you wanted etc the fact that it wasn't quite happening and there's no disappointment at the top i mean is that is the tension really between yourself and the operational arms the dhbs the staff on the ground getting things done is that where the tension lies it's not so much attention but i just want to point out this is a really complex system of the new zealand health system and it's also a system that by acknowledgement has been under a lot of pressure and on top of that we have been really managing a pandemic in this country very well and that's required and you can see just how uh people across the health system step up enormously as they have over the last week when it's asked of them so i don't think it's so much attention as just something we need to go back and look and review and find out could are there ways we could make it clearer and make sure the information flows are better in both directions i certainly wouldn't want to say that people weren't working hard getting things done but are you struggling to get some of these finer details from the some of these the more grounding your granular stuff done at the moment uh look we're working at pace and um there's there's a huge amount of um good will of course also involved in things i think you know just to reiterate the point one of the things we will and want to do is go back and find out well it was there a breakdown in communication if the message wasn't going down and back up as clearly as it should have been let's sort that out so we'll do that final question here um just do you know how many vehicles were able to get through some of those checkpoints leaving auckland particularly around tehama and going up to northland and do you have concerns i have uh i don't have any idea about that there would be commissioner um andrew costa would be able to tell you that what i can say is i know this morning there was some there were some delays and that caused some frustration including for health workers at some of the checkpoints people who uh are allowed to cross the the the sort of the border uh or the regional boundary um and i know that's something that police are working on to try and uh get in place some triaging so that people can get through really quickly who may need to get through quicker just very quickly so you don't think that worker that's tested positive is a possible clue or a lincoln this train and transmission through the ports through the shipping uh the the that worker was identified as i understand it as through the close contact uh testing and happens to be a port worker so if you see what i mean and the symptom onset was well after the initial the first case of symptom onset we have in the cluster okay thanks very much you