But the fact this has now been genomically linked to the main Auckland cluster means it is unlikely to be part of a much bigger outbreak. Even trying to determine the country of origin is hard. Despite drastic measures to halt travel in and out of the Auckland region, and severe personal movement and gathering restrictions, the tally surpassed the earlier Bluff wedding and Marist College clusters that had stopped at 98 and 96 respectively. Auckland August COVID cluster to close soon. Over the past month hospitals have treated a handful of patients needing ward and intensive care. Genomic tests suggested the strain originated in the UK or Australia. They were distinguished physician, author and former Cook Islands prime minister Dr Joe Williams and Americold cool store team leader and father of four Alan Te Hiko. Auckland is … This sparked a new outbreak, dubbed the Auckland August cluster. Both men had battled for their lives in intensive care units at Middlemore and Auckland City hospitals. The virus can be transmitted in managed isolation facilities, as the recent Rydges hotel case underlines. Genome sequencing—mapping the genetic sequences of the virus from confirmed COVID-19 cases in a bid to track its spread—is now an integral part of New Zealand's coronavirus response. Or, alternatively, it is the result of ongoing transmission in New Zealand starting from the pair identified in April. Until the cluster was discovered Tuesday, New Zealand had gone 102 days without infections spreading in … There was a resurgence of community transmission in August and September 2020 associated with the Auckland August cluster. Auckland Covid cluster caused by quarantine breach, says Winston Peters Information on outbreak in New Zealand city from trusted source, says deputy PM Coronavirus – latest updates There are now 87 confirmed cases in the new Auckland cluster. • The origins of this cluster remain under investigation. It is providing greater certainty in identifying clusters and helps focus the investigations of contact tracers. It has now overtaken the Bluff wedding cluster which was linked to 98 cases earlier this year. Thank you for taking your time to send in your valued opinion to Science X editors. close. All 29 cases “remain linked to one cluster centred in Auckland”, Ms Ardern said, adding that 38 people are in government quarantine. Today a household contact of a confirmed case connected to the sub-cluster tested positive. Meanwhile, five of the previous seven clusters have continued to grow. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reacts during a press conference in Wellington, New Zealand, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. Five new Covid-19 cases in NZ today, Auckland August cluster closed 2:28 pm on 3 November 2020 There are five new Covid-19 cases in New Zealand today, four in managed isolation and one in the community which was revealed last night. File photo. With hundreds gathering for a wedding and three services earlier this month health officials appealed on August 27 for anyone who had been in any of the gatherings to watch for symptoms. New cases linked to the church are still emerging. A month on, where the first person became sick still remains a mystery. 13 August 13 new confirmed cases in New Zealand, 1 in managed isolation from an arrival from overseas, and 12 related to the family cluster announced on 11 August. At its height 11 people were treated in hospital on August 28 across Auckland and Waikato. But with different countries having radically different sequencing efforts (of the 81,000 genomes on GISAID, 35,000 are from the UK alone), finding a link to a country could merely indicate that country has done lots of sequencing. However, in scenarios that did not lead to elimination, case numbers grew rapidly in the absence of Alert Level 3 restrictions. 14 August 2020. All are in quarantine, along with some of their close contacts. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Privacy Policy Since August 11 when a finance company on Dominion Rd and a cool store in Mt Wellington were identified as workplaces of concern, 3,224 people have been identified as close contacts of cases. Get weekly and/or daily updates delivered to your inbox. All in Auckland. With no new COVID-19 cases in two incubation periods, the Ministry of Health is planning to close the Auckland August cluster. Just days out before the region's alert level was to step down a notch, every student and teacher at the large central Auckland high school were asked to get a test before classes recommenced. Ideally, we would accurately calculate the likelihood of each scenario. After 102 days of no new Covid-19 cases in the community, suddenly four members of a South Auckland family had tested positive. The information you enter will appear in your e-mail message and is not retained by Medical Xpress in any form. Half the Covid deaths remain linked to the Rosewood rest home cluster in Christchurch where 12 residents died. We do not guarantee individual replies due to extremely high volume of correspondence. Few people from Auckland's August cluster have spoken publicly and the family wants to stay anonymous. The source may be among one of these cases. We have seen this lineage only once before in New Zealand, in a pair of cases in mid-April who were in managed isolation in Auckland. October 8, 2020. The outbreak has grown to 30 people and extended beyond Auckland for the first time. Through genomic testing, we know that all the sub-clusters are linked to the Auckland August cluster - but we don't know how the virus was transmitted from a person in the Auckland August cluster to the first person to be infected within each sub-cluster. Third, there were a few cases for which contact tracing produced only uncertain links between people, but sequencing confirmed they were part of the same cluster. After 102 days of no new Covid-19 cases in the community, suddenly four members of a South Auckland family had tested positive. Of those 3,199 have been contacted and put into self-isolation. Neither can we rule out the possibility that a case in managed isolation or elsewhere at the border was not detected. The largest, a cluster of cases linked to students and staff at Auckland's Marist College, has now swelled to 48. This was mostly expected based on established physical links, but the genetic confirmation is nevertheless valuable. By Susan Strongman, RNZ As of today, there are 177 cases of Covid-19 associated with the Auckland August Cluster. of the Auckland region was restricted. But despite our rapidly improving knowledge, we still don't know how and where the current outbreak started. Last week the director general of health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, said they had not yet given up on finding the cause of the new strain sweeping through Auckland and the Waikato paper mill township of Tokoroa. But a new cluster emerged in Auckland in August, forcing the city of 1.5 million into lockdown for almost three weeks. After 102 days of no new Covid-19 cases in the community, suddenly four members of a South Auckland family had tested positive. When Williams was first admitted to hospital just days after Auckland moved to alert level 3 health authorities said the 82-year-old had been treating people at his Mt Wellington practice, located near the Americold cold store, right up to when he fell ill. Your email address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the email. Auckland: Two new cases of coronavirus were announced on Sunday, both in the community and linked to the Auckland August cluster. This sounds very unlike the virulent, fast-spreading virus we think we know, although it's also true the initial stages of growth of an outbreak can be slow. Daily science news on research developments and the latest scientific innovations, The latest engineering, electronics and technology advances, The most comprehensive sci-tech news coverage on the web. “Improved testing and contact tracing capacity mean that since the Auckland August cluster, we’ve had four outbreaks which we have successfully managed without having to change alert levels. A month ago New Zealand was delivered the news no one wanted to hear. Ministry of Health figures show 62 per cent of those in the Auckland August cluster are Pacific people. In August, Auckland entered a second three-week lockdown after a cluster of more than 100 infected people developed in the city’s south. This lineage has been seen once before in New Zealand, in a pair of cases in mid-April who were in managed isolation in Auckland. Let's tackle each in turn, starting with the recent border incursion theory. Around 40% of cases found in managed facilities have no available genome sequence because the sample contains too little viral material. With a close genomic match found, we can't completely dismiss this possibility. To date 17 children under 9 and 34 aged between 10 and 19 have Covid-19. The person had not travelled overseas or had knowingly been in contact with a Covid-positive person. Police hunt man after restaurant owner seriously injured in attack, Local Focus: Speed radar in Tauranga Harbour targeting jetskiers, Water price hikes: Goff says gradual changes preferable, Mt Albert cafe burglary breakthrough: Man arrested, items recovered, 'Corpse flower' bloom to cause a stink around the country in January, Air NZ grounds flights of pets between NZ and US, 'Extremely traumatic': Family of shark attack victim grief-stricken, autopsy held today. Despite additional testing of all border workers and swabs from cool store surfaces, the origin still has not been found. There are three new cases of COVID detected in people in managed isolation today. Genomically linked to Auckland August cluster. File photo. 1 of 5. This points to two possible scenarios. Within weeks the cluster earmarked as the Auckland August cluster had swollen to become the single largest connected group of Covid-19 victims in our country with 159 men, women and children testing positive. Other schools including Glamorgan School on the North Shore, Avondale College, Southern Cross Campus and Taeaofou I Puaseisei Preschool in Mangere East have all had a pupil test positive. The current number of active cases within the cluster is 55. On 11 … There are now 1425 cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand from both imported and community spread. October 7, Auckland returned to Alert Level 1, having successfully contained and most probably eliminated the ‘Auckland August cluster’. COVID-19 Latest. Auckland's lockdown will continue until 11.59pm on Wednesday August 26, with the rest of the country under looser Level 2 rules until the same time, although a review of the decision will take place in a week's time on August 21. We estimated that it was highly likely that the Auckland August cluster was eliminated by October 5 before Auckland returned to Alert Level 1 on October 7. This site uses cookies to assist with navigation, analyse your use of our services, and provide content from third parties. One death. It indicates the current cluster comes from the so-called B.1.1.1 lineage, most frequently documented in the UK but more recently found in Europe, Australia and South Africa. Five new Covid-19 cases in NZ today, Auckland August cluster closed. They became the 23rd and 24th victims of the virus since it came to our shores in February, turning this year on its head. Without rapid genome sequencing, contact tracers would have spent considerable effort looking for a link to the known cluster. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reacts during a press conference in Wellington, New Zealand, Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. But it hasn't established the ultimate source of this second-wave outbreak. New Zealand’s deputy prime minister has said a “breach” in quarantine was responsible for the cluster of Covid-19 cases that has forced Auckland to re-enter strict lockdown for three days. Auckland August cluster: 177 cases total, of which 55 are active. Auckland August COVID-19 cluster and 'sub-clusters' as at 15 September Photo credit: RNZ / Vinay Ranchhod By Susan Strongman for RNZ. On Monday, Ardern announced that New Zealand's latest COVID-19 cluster is "under control." They were all females, including a primary-age child, two women in their 20s and one aged 60-69 years. Yesterday there were four cases linked to the central Auckland congregation. 3 new imported cases, none in the community. A further 21 per cent are Māori. Genome sequencing proves useful to understand the cluster. Auckland August COVID cluster to close soon. Scientists have turned the complex tale of Auckland's August Covid-19 cluster into a fascinating interactive, threading together its cases with genomic data. Within weeks the cluster earmarked as the Auckland August cluster … “At the same time, we know the virus is continuing to rage offshore and despite our best efforts, there’s always the possibility of further community cases here. - NZ Herald, Covid 19 coronavirus: 'Most likely weeks' before Auckland reaches tail of cluster - NZ Herald, Covid 19 Coronavirus: Auckland community cluster's infectious creep - NZ Herald, Insurance Council defends skyrocketing Wellington premiums, Chilled transmission: Research shows how long virus lasts on food, TO READ THE HERALD'S FULL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE CLICK HERE. If a known case has visited a school, church or large workplace, many hundreds of people may need to be tested. part may be reproduced without the written permission. SIGN UP TO OUR DAILY NEWSLETTERS HERE. This high false negative rate is one reason to insist on 14 days of isolation. "The Auckland August cluster will officially close when there have been no new cases for two incubation periods from when all cases complete isolation." An approach that combines genomic data with data on all international arrivals could be more fruitful. Home Tags Auckland August cluster. One death. Until the cluster was discovered Tuesday, New Zealand had gone 102 days without infections spreading in … The Auckland August cluster belongs to a lineage that is in multiple continents around around the world. Te Hiko, aged in his 50s, is the youngest person to die from coronavirus in New Zealand. Unlike the earlier March outbreak this second wave has seen the Pasifika community fall victim to what Ardern has frequently dubbed a "tricky virus" in large numbers. The first case in this sub-cluster was reported on August 28, and the most recent case was reported … They both succumbed to the infection on Friday. This document is subject to copyright. First, it identified a new case without links to the current community cluster. This allows health authorities to infer a connection between cases or pinpoint potential sources of infection much more promptly than before. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. So far, genomics has given us a lot of valuable information about New Zealand's current round of infections. Three months ago, during the Auckland August coronavirus cluster, the Government announced 500 more Defence personnel would be deployed to managed … PCR tests shouldn't be relied on by themselves. Get the monthly weather forecast for Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, including daily high/low, historical averages, to help you plan ahead. New Zealand's government on Friday extended a lockdown of its largest city Auckland for another 12 days as it tries to stamp out its first domestic coronavirus outbreak in more than three months. We have seen this lineage only once before in New Zealand, in … The Auckland cluster is now the largest in NZ's Covid-19 history, Bloomfield said. Share. Talking about his new role, he says he is under no illusions about the scale and importance of it. The origins of this cluster remain under investigation. By The Right Monk on December 17, 2020. Made possible by. About sharing. So far, the technique has confirmed Auckland's second wave of cases are all part of the same cluster, except for one case identified on Tuesday who contracted the virus via exposure to a returned traveler from the United States. Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says all the new cases are in quarantine. The prime minister said at a press conference that 179 cases have been linked to … The Auckland August cluster belongs to a lineage that is in multiple continents around around the world. The Ministry says one person remains on a ward in Middlemore hospital with COVID-19 today. Households connected to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship have suffered the highest toll, with 33 people falling ill to date. However, it has yielded some clues. Sequencing of viral genomes has become part of the pipeline to aid contact tracing. Your opinions are important to us. But even so, recent transmission across the border is clearly more likely, given the presence of this strain around the world and the absence of any intermediate cases to link NZ's first and second waves. The four new community cases are linked to the wider Auckland August cluster and are epidemiologically linked to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Church “mini-cluster”. Covid-19: False negative case could’ve started Auckland August cluster – experts. Since the outbreak emerged the Health Ministry has dubbed it a mini cluster, with confirmed genomic and suspected epidemiological links to the Auckland outbreak. This usually indicates a low viral load (and low level of infectiousness), but it does not rule out transmission. The cluster that sent Auckland into lockdown and the rest of the country into Stage 2 restrictions has now grown to 17, including four children aged between one and 19. On 11 August, a person in … Test results of one of the cases under investigation will be genome sequenced today as an epidemiological link couldn't be found. With no new COVID-19 cases in two incubation periods, the Ministry of Health is planning to close the Auckland August cluster. Both were already in isolation. STAY IN THE KNOW. Ports 'won't change position' on foreign crew COVID-19 rules, despite Health Minister's request. We can understand the extent of the spread using GISAID, the global database in which viral genomes are shared. By NICK PERRY August 14, 2020 GMT. Either the second wave is due to a recent border incursion from a country where this viral lineage has been transmitted. You can be assured our editors closely monitor every feedback sent and will take appropriate actions. ... testing at the country’s border facilities and ports has also not revealed any source of infection linking the Auckland cluster with the wider world. But the theory also depends on some unlikely assumptions: that the infection leaked from managed isolation, was transmitted undetected for about 15 generations until finally being found, and mutated fairly slowly over that period. There are five new Covid-19 cases in New Zealand today, four in managed isolation and one in the community which was revealed last night. and Terms of Use. Military managed isolation sleaze: soldiers sent packing for inappropriate conduct stuff.co.nz - GEORGE BLOCK. The current number of active cases within the cluster is 55. The outbreak has grown to 30 people and extended beyond Auckland for the first time. When we look back at the first wave of infections, several of the cases that were assigned to the same cluster were shown not to be genetically related after all, showing contact tracing alone is not fail-safe. Then last week the fast-growing city-wide cluster that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned would have a long tail took a deadly turn, claiming the lives of two men in 24 hours. There are three new cases of COVID detected in people in managed isolation today. Have authorities given up on finding out how the Auckland August cluster started? “Improved testing and contact tracing capacity mean that since the Auckland August cluster, we’ve had four outbreaks which we have successfully managed without having to change alert levels. August 25, 2020. Science reporter Jamie Morton talked to Dr James Hadfield , a Wanaka-based phylogeneticist with Seattle's Bedford Lab, about what we've learned - and the three likely explanations for the mystery outbreak. Another man connected to the August Auckland cluster also died on Friday at Middlemore Hospital. October 8: As cases from the August cluster continue to subside, Auckland joins the rest of the country at Alert Level 1. By 20 April, there were less than ten cases reported per day and after 1 May less than five per day. Whatever the source, we can take heart in New Zealand's response to this first known community transmission since the original epidemic. Auckland August cluster: 177 cases total, of which 55 are active. 15 testing centres are opened across Auckland, and testing centres have opened in Rotorua and Taupo (due to the family having travelled there on holiday). Share page. Two cases are imported. "The Auckland August cluster will officially close when there have been no new cases for two incubation periods from when all cases complete isolation." Both the community cases were linked to the Auckland August cluster - one was a close contact of an existing confirmed case that has been epidemiologically linked to the cluster. Read the original article. So far, the "Auckland August cluster", as it's known, has seen 146 people become infected, including five new daily cases confirmed on September 1. The second was a household contact of a confirmed case linked to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Church sub-cluster. And for the first time the number of youth and children suffering from the virus outstrip those in older age groups, making up almost a third of all positive cases. Minister for Covid-19 Response Chris Hipkins says the Auckland August cluster is now closed. The sequencing technology has shown its value in three distinct ways since this new outbreak was confirmed last week. Ministry of Health Covid-19 update October 8, 2020 There are two new cases of Covid-19 to report from managed isolation in New Zealand today. Contact tracing casts a broad net. Even testing twice (currently on days three and 12 of quarantine) is expected to miss at least 4% of cases, based on a false negative rate that is at best 20%. Science X Daily and the Weekly Email Newsletter are free features that allow you to receive your favorite sci-tech news updates in your email inbox, Follow the latest news on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Study explores the effects of morning weather on people's mood and wellbeing at work, Biotin, mitochondria, and dementia: Research reveals a connection, Study explores the effects of immune responses on the aging brain, Link found between self-control in childhood and success later in life, Opening a new door into kinder, gentler therapies for chronic inflammation. Copy link. Throughout, the confirmed cases have outnumbered the probable cases. Second, genome sequencing has also shown that all other cases so far are part of a single cluster. 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