August 31, 2020
School test critical to half COVID spread
A member of the Māori pandemic response group says the discovery of two cases of COVID-19 in the country’s largest secondary school means 10,000 people will need to be tested.
There was anger at the weekend over confusing advice on a government web page that led to long queues at testing stations in South Auckland and West Auckland.
Rawiri Jansen says while some people may feel upset at the time it took to get a test, or even whether the test was necessary, it was valuable in terms of mapping the extent of community spread.
While people with cold, flu or coronavirus symptoms need to be swabbed, so too does anyone who may have come into contact with the Auckland cluster, including everyone at Mount Albert Grammar School.
"They are asking everybody connected to Mount Albert (High School) to go and get tested so I have seen the numbers for that – we expect that will reach up to 10,000 people, so if there is a student attending Mount Albert Grammar, we are asking all of those students but also all of that whānau to go and get tested," Dr Jansen says.
There were nine new cases of COVID-19 reported today, including five in the community linked to the Auckland cluster.
Three cases are linked to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Church, while the other two cases are both household contacts of two separate previously reported cases.
There were four imported cases, all females recently returned from India, which has just set a record for new cases with 78,761 reported yesterday.
The Health Ministry is working to identify close contacts of a Tokoroa case now in Hospital with COVID-19.
Sixteen of 28 known close contacts have already been and will be tested.
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