Live updates, October 24-26: No new community cases; five new cases in managed isolation

Welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates for October 24-26. All the latest New Zealand news, updated throughout the day. Reach us at info@thespinoff.co.nz

1.00pm: No new community cases; five cases in managed isolation

The Ministry of Health has just emailed through today’s Covid-19 case number update. This is how it reads:

There are again no new community cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today. There are five new cases from managed isolation.

One other case has now recovered, meaning the total number of active cases is 74.

The five cases today include three additional international mariners in the Sudima Hotel Christchurch Airport, this brings the total number of mariners who have tested positive to 32.  The three cases today were tested at day nine as they were part of the group who had previously been in close contact with other confirmed cases.  These three are now in quarantine, along with the other mariners who had earlier tested positive.

Of our remaining two positive cases to report today, the first is a family member of a positive case who is a recent returnee and both were already in quarantine in Auckland’s quarantine facility.

The other case is a recent returnee who arrived from Ethiopia via Dubai and tested positive as a result of routine testing around day three.  This person has also been transferred to Auckland’s quarantine facility.

Our total number of confirmed cases is now 1,584.

Yesterday our laboratories completed 3,038 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,070,181.

Testing has continued at a steady level in the Auckland area, with metropolitan DHBs reporting 478 people swabbed at the region’s seven community testing centres.

The seven community testing centres remain open today  – those are Northcote Community Testing Centre, Northcare Accident and Medical, Whânau House in Henderson, Western Springs Community Testing Centre, the Whânau Ora Community Clinic in Wiri, the Otara Community Testing Centre, and the North Harbour stadium carpark in Albany.

COVID-19 testing is also available across metro Auckland at a number of urgent care clinics and general practices over the long weekend. A reminder that wherever you get swabbed, a COVID-19 test is free of charge.

We want to again thank New Zealanders, especially Aucklanders, who are doing the right things by remaining vigilant, self-isolating and getting tested if they have even the slightest symptoms. Your actions are helping to keep you, your whânau and your communities safe.

Full details of testing availability in Auckland and the testing centre opening hours can be found on the ARPHS website https://www.arphs.health.nz/public-health-topics/covid-19/where-to-get-tested/.

Auckland Maritime Cases

We now have preliminary results of the genome sequencing for the two other Auckland cases linked to the original worker who returned a positive test result after working on the ship the Sofrana Surville.  The genome sequencing shows the three workers all have an identical form of the virus – further evidence their infections are from a common source.

Australian authorities are doing genome sequencing on the three crew members of the Sofrana Surville who tested positive on arrival in Brisbane after leaving New Zealand.  Those results are pending.

NZ COVID Tracer

There are now 2,327,600 users registered on NZ COVID Tracer.

The app has recorded a total of 99,460,306 poster scans, and users have created a total of 4,182,114 manual diary entries.

The Ministry of Health continues to strongly encourage everyone to scan QR codes where ever they go.  The more we scan, the safer we’ll be. More scans facilitate a faster response.  The faster we respond, the faster we stop COVID-19.

Wherever you are in New Zealand over coming days, you can call Healthline for advice 24/7 and information on testing locations. Its dedicated COVID-19 number is 0800 358 5453, or you can check with the DHB’s website.

We’d also like to extend our thanks to primary care teams, laboratory staff, public health teams, hospital staff, incident management teams, managed isolation and quarantine staff and the other health professionals who are working during this long weekend to support our pandemic response.


1.00pm: No new cases in the community; one border case reclassified

The Ministry of Health has just emailed through today’s Covid-19 case number update. This is how it reads:

There are no new community cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today.

One case from managed isolation, which was under further investigation yesterday, has been reclassified as a confirmed case which has now recovered.

Three other cases have also now recovered, meaning the total number of active cases is 70.

We can confirm all day 6 testing for the international fishing crew has now been completed, with no additional positive results to report from yesterday.

Our total number of confirmed cases is now 1,579.

Yesterday our laboratories completed 5,396 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,067,143.

This is a strong weekend figure.

Testing has also been pleasing in the Auckland area, with metropolitan DHBs reporting steady demand at the region’s seven community testing centres, where 633 people were swabbed yesterday.

The seven community testing centres remain open today and tomorrow  – those are Northcote Community Testing Centre, Northcare Accident and Medical, Whânau House in Henderson, Western Springs Community Testing Centre, the Whânau Ora Community Clinic in Wiri, the Otara Community Testing Centre, and the North Harbour stadium carpark in Albany.

COVID-19 testing is also available across metro Auckland at a number of urgent care clinics and general practices over the long weekend. A reminder that wherever you get swabbed, a COVID-19 test is free of charge.

Full details of testing availability in Auckland and the testing centre opening hours can be found on the ARPHS website.

Where ever you are in New Zealand over coming days, you can call Healthline for advice 24/7 and information on testing locations. Its dedicated COVID-19 number is 0800 358 5453, or you can check with the DHB’s website.

We’d also like to extend our thanks to primary care teams testing today, the laboratory staff, public health teams, hospital staff and the other health professionals who are working during this long weekend to support our pandemic response.

NZ COVID Tracer

There are now 2,325,300 users registered on NZ COVID Tracer.

The app has recorded a total of 98,703,172 poster scans and users have created a total of 4,151,438 manual diary entries.

It’s encouraging to see the number of poster scans has almost doubled compared to the number we reported last Wednesday.

The more we scan, the safer we’ll be. The faster we respond, the faster we stop COVID-19.

11.45am: Tool frontman had Covid-19 in Auckland

The lead singer of Tool, Maynard James Keenan, has revealed during a podcast interview that he had Covid-19 while performing shows at Auckland’s Spark Arena in February.

Keenan told the Joe Rogan Podcast he spent four days in an Auckland hotel “just trying to get through it” before the concerts on February 28 and 29. According to Keenan, a New Zealand doctor told him he couldn’t have the virus since he didn’t have a fever. The singer was finally diagnosed a few days later after landing in Hawaii.

The Tool shows already had a local connection to Covid-19, having been attended by New Zealand’s fourth-ever confirmed Covid-19 case. The fan tested positive a few days after attending the February 28 show.


1.00pm: 11 new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation

The Ministry of Health has announced 11 new cases of Covid-19 – all from managed isolation. There are no new cases in the community.

Five of these cases are part of the day six testing of international fishing crew in Christchurch.

The remaining six cases involve a family group of two who arrived from Amsterdam via Singapore, two recent arrivals from the United Kingdom, one from the United Arab Emirates, and one whose details have yet to be released (the ministry expects more information by tomorrow).

All six cases have returned positive tests at around day three, as part of standard border testing protocols and they are now in quarantine.

The total number of active cases in New Zealand is now 74. Laboratories completed 7,700

The ministry says 7,700 Covid-19 tests were completed by its laboratories yesterday.

12.50pm: On The Spinoff today

While you’re waiting, have a look at some stellar pieces we’ve got on the site today:

12.30pm: Covid-19 numbers to be updated at 1pm

There’ll be an update from the Ministry of Health this afternoon via press release. Yesterday there were nine new cases announced with one in the community – a household contact of a confirmed case in the newly named “marine employee cluster”.

Seven of the new imported cases were part of the group of fishing crew in the Sudima facility, recorded at day six testing. The other case arrived on October 19 from Iran via Dubai, and tested positive on day three testing and is now in quarantine.

Yesterday’s headlines

Nine new cases of Covid-19 were announced: eight in managed isolation and one linked to the “marine employee cluster”.

The Malt pub in Greenhithe closed its doors for a fortnight after being told all staff needed to self-isolate due to Covid-19 concerns.

A Browns Bay gym has closed for a five day deep clean after a confirmed Covid-19 case visited the facility.

Labour’s Peeni Henare said he wants to be health minister this term after serving as associate health minister in the last government.

Trump and Biden faced off in the second and final live presidential debate. Before the debate, Trump released the full, unedited footage from his upcoming 60 Minutes interview – just days before it was set to go to air.

Read yesterday’s live updates




The Spinoff is made possible by the generous support of the following organisations.
Please help us by supporting them.