Covid cases in Mangere and North Shore schools

The Ministry of Health is failing to inform people in a timely way on places where covid cases have been detected and where covid positive people have visited. Media keep publishing details well ahead of official information releases.

This happened with the initial covid outbreak that affected a family and two work places in Auckland, and also with places some affected family members visited in Rotorua and Taupo.

The MoH should at least be posting details online as soon as it is confirmed, and not be waiting until the next daily media conference.

This morning from NZ Herald: North Shore primary school student positive, Noel Leemings closed

The Covid risk has extended to Auckland’s North Shore after a primary school student tested positive, sending their school into lockdown.

Two Noel Leeming stores on the North Shore have also been told someone who tested positive had visited over the weekend.

A further two schools in Māngere East have confirmed cases of the virus, as does Auckland’s Manukau Institute of Technology.

It is unclear if the cases are linked to the 17 confirmed cases of community transmission or new ones.

We will have to wait until either a Minister or Ashley Bloomfield does a media interview, or until the 1 pm media conference, to find out officially whether these are additional cases or not.

A student at Glamorgan School in Torbay has tested positive, Auckland Regional Public Health said in a letter that has gone out to parents last night.

The child was last at school on Tuesday but has now gone into quarantine at home.

The child’s family are also self-isolating.

That sounds like it is an additional case. It is important to know if it is connected to the South Auckland cluster.

“There will be a great deal of concern in the school community, but the child did not have the symptoms while at school,” the letter said.

“This means there is a lower risk of the illness having been passed to other students.”

There’s a great deal of concern around the country. Not having symptoms does not mean they weren’t Covid positive and potentially spreading the virus.

Meanwhile, Warehouse Group staff have been told someone who tested positive had visited two Noel Leeming stores on the weekend.

Auckland’s Albany and Wairau Park click and collect sites were closed on Thursday and staff were asked to stay home at the request of management.

One person with Covid or connected to Covid cases can have a major impact on businesses and on many staff and customers.

Auckland public health officials said Southern Cross Campus and Taeaofou I Puaseisei Preschool in Mangere East have been closed after cases were confirmed there.

So that’s the third school/preschool with cases.

The MIT student, who was studying in TechPark’s general engineering area based at South Campus, Ōtara, was not on campus while they were infectious, students were told.

The student is in self-isolation and will not be attending classes until they have recovered from the virus.

Meanwhile MIT campus remains closed under level 3 restrictions.

This is sounding omninous, the spread of Covid seems to be widespread around Auckland.

Director general of Health Ashley Bloomfield said 17 of the total 36 active cases in New Zealand were linked to the new outbreak.

“Given that all these cases are linked, we are treating them as a cluster.”

The new cases include other children. One is a girl aged 1 to 4 while the other is a boy between the ages of 5 and 9. Another girl who tested positive is aged between 10 and 14, while a teenage male (age from 15-19) is among the new cases.

That was from yesterday. We shouldn’t have to wait until 1 pm today to get more details.

These locations involved with cases must have been known by the MoH yesterday, but they haven’t posted any details on their website or via Twitter since the 1 pm media conference yesterday. This laxity in keeping the public informed must be rectified.

The one positive from this news is that as far as we know the Covid outbreak is contained within the Auckland area.

Cabinet will meet today and announce a decision on Covid alert levels at 5:30 pm this afternoon. That doesn’t give us much time to know what we can do in the weekend. Like many people I have plans on hold pending the decision.

It looks like Auckland at least will remain on level 3 for longer, probably weeks.

The rest of us are left hoping that Covid hasn’t spread more widely, and that the rest of the country (or at least the South Island) is reprieved from more serious lockdowns.