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Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: Auckland-based truck driver who travelled to Palmerston North tests positive for Covid-19

An Auckland-based truck driver who travelled to Palmerston North for work purposes has tested positive for Covid-19.

The case was detected in a routine surveillance test which was done in Auckland yesterday, and which returned a positive result earlier today, the Ministry of Health said in a statement released tonight.

The driver is currently isolating at a facility in Palmerston North.

The driver’s infectious period is determined to be from September 28 and they previously returned a negative test result on September 24.

As per surveillance testing protocol under Auckland’s level 3 restrictions, essential workers who are permitted to cross Auckland’s boundaries are not required to self-isolate until they return a negative test result, as they undergo regular tests.

The ministry said the Auckland Regional Public Health Service had completed its initial interview with the person. Whole genome sequencing is now underway.

Two household contacts of the truck driver have been identified and are self-isolating.
The hours worked by the driver means their contact with other people is limited.

A small number of exposure events are in the process of being worked through by public health staff. Those locations will be listed on the Ministry of Health website.

The ministry said more information on this case will be available tomorrow.

Palmerston North testing centres open on Sunday:

• Drive-through Community Testing Centre, 575 Main Street, 10am-8pm
• City Doctors White Cross, 22 Victoria Avenue, 8am-8pm
• The Palms Medical Centre, 445 Ferguson Street, 8am-8pm

Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Health confirmed there were 27 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases in the Auckland regiony, 22 of which have been linked to known clusters.

This brings the total of unlinked cases in the past fortnight to 10.

And health officials have also confirmed two further locations of interest visited by Covid-19 positive cases; both in the Auckland suburb of Pakuranga.

There are 22 Covid patients in hospital, including three in ICU or HDU.

Counties Manukau DHB advised the Ministry of Health of a possible exposure event at Middlemore Hospital last night, officials said.

“A person presented to Middlemore Hospital’s Emergency Department seeking treatment for issues unrelated to Covid-19.

“The patient answered no to all screening questions but, while in triage, clinical staff noted the patient was displaying a Covid-like symptom and took steps to investigate, isolate and test.

“The patient subsequently returned a positive Covid-19 result and was moved to a Covid-19 isolation ward at Middlemore Hospital.

“The patient was wearing a mask at all times in ED. All staff were wearing appropriate PPE and as such no staff members are required to stand down.

“Counties Manukau Health’s Infection Prevention and Control team are working with the Auckland Regional Public Health Service to identify potential contacts.”

New locations of interest

This afternoon the ministry confirmed two further locations of interest visited by Covid-19 positive cases.

Both are in Pakuranga, east Auckland.

They are:

Cascade Superette Pakuranga: On Wednesday September 29, between 12pm-12.15pm, and

GAS Cascades Rd Pakuranga Heights: On Thursday September 30, 12.45pm-1.15pm.

People who had visited the locations around those times have been told to self-monitor for Covid-19 symptoms for 14 days after you were exposed at this location.

If symptoms develop, get a test and stay at home until you get a negative test result and until 24 hours after symptoms resolve.

Border link in MIQ case

Officials said whole genome sequencing carried out by ESR had “identified a clear epidemiological link between the Naumi MIQ worker who was reported as a positive case on September 30 and another case at the border”.

“The worker tested positive on September 29 as part of routine surveillance testing. They are fully vaccinated and have been tested regularly. The hours they worked mean they had limited contact with guests at the hotel. They are now isolating in a quarantine facility.

“An investigation is under way to determine the pathway of the worker’s infection and identify potential contacts.”

There are 15 epidemiologically linked subclusters, the MoH said.

“Of these, three are active, eight are contained and four are dormant. There are 14 epidemiologically unlinked subclusters. Of these, three are active, four are contained and seven are dormant.”

Officials urged residents of Clover Park, Māngere, Favona, Manurewa, Mount Wellington/Sylvia Park, Henderson and Papakura in Auckland to get tested.

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