Covid-19 coronavirus: Health officials to reveal more Valentine’s Day cluster information
Health officials will this afternoon unveil more key pieces of information about the Auckland Valentine’s Day cluster and how many close contacts have been tested.
The cluster, which initially plunged Auckland into level 3 lockdown for three days, is currently 11 people – all in managed quarantine at the Jet Park hotel.
The Ministry of Health will release a Covid-19 statement at between 1pm and 1.30pm this afternoon.
Officials’ focus has turned to the Botany Kmart, where one member of the cluster worked while they were Covid-19 positive.
That person caught the virus from a family member who is a student at Papatoetoe High School.
As they were at work while they had the virus, but were non-symptomatic, the Ministry of Health has labelled 15 staff members “close plus” contacts.
In this category, people are advised to do the same as a close contact and keep their household members at home in isolation until they return a negative day-five test.
Close contacts are advised to self-isolate for 14 days and be tested on day five and day 12.
So far, all the Kmart staff in the close plus category have been contacted by officials and are self-isolating.
Officials reported yesterday that there were eight negative tests so far returned from this group.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health yesterday reported that it had contacted by 1236 people who reported being at the store at the times of interest.
Those people have been asked to isolate for 14 days and be tested at day five and day 12 after their exposure to the case.
“We encourage anyone who has visited the store at the times of interest to contact Healthline. We expect this number to increase.”
But one Aucklander, who said she spent just six minutes at the Kmart in question during this time, had to wait nearly eight hours on the phone with Healthline to get advice.
“It was my fastest, least costly trip to Kmart I’ve ever done, and it ended up costing me two weeks,” Lisa-Marie told RNZ.
Officials are also likely to provide more information about the private home viewing of the family in today’s statement.
The February 20 home viewing – which was on behalf of the homeowners, not the family, and lasted for roughly half an hour – was attended by three people.
“The home is not regarded as a Location of Interest as the identities of everyone present is known,” the ministry said yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Covid-positive families at the centre of the latest outbreak are anxious but getting better as they quarantine at Jet Park in South Auckland, according to a woman who’s been supporting them.
The Fono health and social services centre has been checking in daily with the 11 infected people and four close contacts at Jet Park.
Whānau Ora manager Europa Kupu said most had dwindling symptoms but there were other anxieties – often to do with money, jobs or making sure families not in MIQ were okay.
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