August 21, 2020
Bus clue to St Lukes’ COVID case
A bus ride to work could be the link between a worker at a store in St Luke’s Mall with COVID-19 and the south Auckland cluster.
Genome testing confirmed the case was part of the cluster, even though there was no other obvious connection.
There were 11 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed today, 9 of them part of the community outbreak and two being travellers in managed isolation.
Five of the community cases were linked to church services and four to household contacts.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says 233 contacts from the Pasifika churches have been identified and 170 tested already.
15,714 tests were completed yesterday and 170,000 since the outbreak was detected 10 days ago.
Ms Ardern says the St Lukes case shows the importance of wearing masks on public transport and other places where social distancing is not possible.
Cabinet met today and on the basis of advice decided there was no need to increase alert levels.
On Monday it will consider whether it was safe to come out of lockdown next Wednesday.
She says authorities are continuing to identify the outer edge of the outbreak, but they are confident they are getting in front of it.
Most of the people who tested positive for COVID-19 has already been contact traced and isolated before the test results came in.
Ms Ardern thanked Aucklanders for their compliance with Level 3 lockdown conditions, and said their actions had made a huge impact, as can be seen from the way the outbreak has now been linked to a major store at Sylvia Park, the St Lukes store, six schools and four churches.
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