Coronavirus Covid 19: Level 2 rules extended to Wellington; Masterton health worker returns second negative test
Level 2 alert rules will be extended by 48 hours in Wellington, Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins said.
A vaccinated health worker from Masterton who tested weakly positive for Covid-19 returned a second negative test, the Department of Health said.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told today’s press conference that the case is under investigation. There have been no community cases of Covid in New Zealand today.
Earlier, Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson said she understood from the 1:30 p.m. briefing that the local health worker was an unlikely case, but that may make some people in the area a little anxious.
Patterson said people generally became a bit more relaxed when scanning QR codes.
“It is a timely reminder that we cannot afford to be complacent,” she said. “I hope those with Bluetooth capabilities have turned it on.
“We think we’ll remember where we went, but he may arrive at the dairy to pick up a quart of milk – in and out. You can forget to scan. We can’t afford it. to do it now. “
“His [Covid-19] will be with us for a long time. We must ensure our safety, that of our families and our communities. “
Extended Level 2 in Wellington
Level 2 alert rules will be extended by 48 hours in Wellington, Hipkins said in today’s 1 p.m. update, adding that New Zealand was not yet out of the woods.
Hipkins said it was possible for the alert level to drop as of midnight on Tuesday based on test results so far.
Wellington was moved to Alert Level 2 at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. This level was initially to be lifted at midnight tonight.
The vast majority of the Sydney traveler’s more than 2,000 contacts who tested positive for Covid-19 returned negative tests, Hipkins said.
Wellington’s test participation rate has been low, and Hipkins has encouraged more people to get tested in the capital. New places of interest have been announced.
Mask use is encouraged when social distancing is not possible.
Authorities in New South Wales have confirmed that the partner of the Covid-positive man who traveled to Wellington has now tested positive.
Travel ban to Australia
Hipkins foreshadowed that pre-departure testing would likely be introduced once the Transtasman bubble reopened. The government would consider whether the testing rule would be implemented across Australia.
“Hold on and follow public health advice,” Hipkins told the Kiwis stranded in Australia.
Those returning from Sydney are urged to obey Sydney restriction rules.
Yesterday, Hipkins announced that the transtasman quarantine-free travel bubble will be halted for three days starting at 10:30 a.m. last night.
The shutdown marks the first time that the bubble in all Australian states has been suspended.
The ban on travel without quarantine from all Australian states and territories is currently expected to be lifted at 11:59 p.m. (NZT) on Tuesday, June 29.
An exhibition event at a gold mine in the Northern Territory was the tipping point for the closing of the transtasman bubble, Bloomfield said.
Yesterday, a mine worker tested positive for Covid, raising concern among more than 900 workers who have already left the site.
Hipkins said it was possible for the virus to spread across Australia from this event and potentially New Zealand.
The Northern Territory this afternoon announced a 48-hour lockdown for Darwin and Palmerston after the detection of four new locally acquired Covid cases.
Greater Sydney and other parts of New South Wales were stranded for two weeks at 6 p.m. last night. The state has registered 30 new community cases of Covid today.
An expert surprised by the ban
Ahead of today’s briefing, University of Otago public health expert Professor Michael Baker told Newstalk ZB he was surprised how extreme the ban was.
“I am surprised that this suspension has been extended to all of Australia as some states and territories have done at least as well as New Zealand in terms of sustainable elimination.”
Baker said some states have shown their ability to quickly close borders when neighboring states have epidemics.
Baker told RNZ today “We’re not clear yet. It will take a few more days without a case.
“It could have turned into several super-spread events.”
He told RNZ that the tourist’s case revealed “major flaws” in the system.
“A major mode of transmission is by aerosol. The virus does not care about the two-meter rule. We know that it only takes fleeting contact indoors to contract this infection.”
Baker said his counterparts overseas were saying New Zealand needs to improve its approach to deal with Covid-19.
“The virus has changed dramatically and our response must change with it. “
Travelers with plans ruined after the travel bubble was suspended have spoken of their angst and disbelief.
“We haven’t seen our elderly parents since September 2019. We have endured the horrific Melbourne lockdown,” a man told the Herald.
“We have been vaccinated. We have had clear Covid tests. There have been no new cases in Melbourne today. We are New Zealanders.”
He said his parents were seriously ill and desperate to see him.