Covid-19: No new community cases as Tauranga port workers get tested
There are two new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation and quarantine and two historical cases today, the Ministry of Health says, with no new cases in the community.
Photo: Supplied / Port of Tauranga
In a statement, the ministry said 10 previously reported cases had now recovered.
This morning, 11 of the 21 crew on board the Rio De La Plata container ship off Tauranga were revealed to have tested positive for Covid-19. One test result is currently indeterminate.
Officials had said they expected to know after further testing how many cases were historical and how many were active.
In today's statement the ministry said testing at the Port of Tauranga was under way for workers who had contact with the container ship.
"The crew have been informed of the positive Covid-19 test results and, as of Monday morning, crew members on board are reported to be well," it said.
"Officials have worked with employers to identify 94 port workers who had contact with the ship, unloading cargo in shifts over the four-day period it was berthed at Port of Tauranga from 6pm on Wednesday 4 August to 2pm on Saturday 7 August.
"All have been contacted, told to isolate awaiting a negative Covid-19 test result, and are being tested for Covid-19 today. So far, 91 workers have been tested, as of 11.30am. The first results are expected later today."
The ministry said some workers would require a second test, based on their contact with the ship, and would also be required to remain in isolation until the result of those second tests were known.
"The ministry understands from local public health staff that all infection prevention controls, and PPE protocol, were followed by port workers who had contact with the ship during their duties."
Meanwhile, the Mattina remained in quarantine at a secure berth in Bluff, the ministry said.
As of Monday morning, 13 of the original 21 mariners remain on board the vessel.
The ministry said on Saturday, five mariners were released after 14 days in managed isolation. These mariners have consistently returned negative Covid-19 test results.
One mariner, who was transferred off the boat at a later date, remained in a managed isolation facility in Christchurch, it said.
"Two further mariners, who both required hospital care, have been discharged, and are in Southern DHB-arranged accommodation where their health can continue to be monitored and treated. The ministry understands from Southern DHB that the mariners are recovering well."
On returnees from Australia, the ministry said it was continuing to remind anyone who returned from Queensland on return flights last week to keep checking locations Queensland Health website and monitor for any symptoms.
"If people have been at a location of interest at the relevant time, they should immediately isolate at home or appropriate accommodation and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on testing. New locations of interest have also been added for Victoria and Western Australia."
The ministry said contact tracing staff had also identified 2995 people who returned on managed flights from Victoria between 25 and 30 July and had been required under a section 70 notice to isolate until a negative day 3 test.
Of those 2848 had so far returned a negative test; six have returned overseas and don't need to be followed up; and 91 have been granted a clinical exemption, it said.
The number of active cases in New Zealand is 36 and the total number of confirmed cases is 2534.
Since 1 January 2021, there have been 116 historical cases, out of a total of 716 cases.
And the seven-day rolling average of new cases detected at the border is two.
Photo: Ministry of Health
Yesterday, 2044 Covid-19 tests were processed across New Zealand. The total number processed to date is 2,525,687.
On vaccines, more than 2.2 million doses have been administered to date (to 11.59pm on 8 August). Of these, 1.38 million are first doses and 820,000 are second doses, the ministry said.
It said more than 122,000 Māori had received their first vaccination. Of these, more than 76,000 have also had their second vaccinations.
More than 83,000 doses have been administered to Pacific peoples. Of these, around 52,000 have also received their second doses.
Yesterday, a total of 20,209 doses were administered, including 15,601 first doses and 4608 second doses, the ministry said.
In other Covid news, the government has been seeking more information about whether a longer gap between first and second doses of the vaccine could be beneficial.
Cabinet is meeting today and may be discussing whether to extend the three-week gap between doses to eight weeks. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to speak after the Cabinet meeting about 4pm today.