Urgent virus alert for NSW after NZ case

Clay Curtis
November 16, 2020

As Australia heads into summer, health officials have ramped up messaging to ensure Covid-19-safe behaviours are maintained despite the sunny weather and festive atmosphere.

Yesterday, the highest number of poster scans was recorded since September 26; there were more than 1.1 million scans and more than 500,000 people using the app.

Almost 70 percent of the testing done on Saturday was in the Auckland region, it is said.

Officials are still working to investigate how the AUT student - known as "Case D" - caught the virus from the defence force serviceman who visited a cafe 82m from where the student worked. Case E has been at the Auckland quarantine facility since 12 November.

"While the detection of the virus in wastewater samples could reflect the presence of older cases of Covid-19 diagnosed in these areas, NSW Health is concerned about the possibility of other active cases", a statement read.

Case E is the case reported yesterday as a close contact of Case D, who lives in the same building.

He would also be asking for face coverings to be mandatory on domestic flights around the country.

Those who arrived in NSW from New Zealand since November 5 have been sent a message with NSW Health advice and are being contacted and alerted about a number of venues of concern in Auckland.

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Ardern said she was supportive of the idea, and that it was not a decision they took lightly.

"Adding mask-wearing to the toolbox of measures against the virus is a sensible precaution and the time is right to make the move", Health Minister Chris Hipkins told a news conference on Monday.

Drivers and passengers on buses and trains in Auckland will have to wear some type of face covering.

"We encourage everyone to keep a thorough record of their movements - scan the QR code when you see one displayed, and if you are at a friend's house or somewhere that does not have a code, create a manual diary entry".

"There could also be a requirement for mandatory scanning in at some indoor venues".

Authorities are urging that people displaying symptoms be tested in parts of western and northwestern Sydney after traces of the Coronavirus were detected in sewage systems.

"All arrivals from New Zealand will be asked to monitor for even the mildest of symptoms and get tested and isolate if they appear unwell, then remain in isolation until a negative result is received, in line with routine advice for all people in NSW", they said.

A list of testing sites can be found on the ARPHS website.

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