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Everything posted by lewelma

  1. Well, they were NOT masked. That makes a difference.
  2. I think that if we get back to elimination status (which they think we will), they are likely to change a few things in our Level 1 restrictions. Currently, they only require quarantine for returning people--the Level 1 restrictions do not ban any size gathering. My guess is that they will revisit them in light of what they have learned. I think they will mandate masks on public transport as that is by far the worst type of spread as it goes everywhere and you are with strangers. They can't really mandate masks everywhere, as there would not be compliance because we have eliminated Covid. P
  3. Luckily, Auckland buses uses a swipe card that is registered to the individual. So they know that there were 17 people sharing the bus and sitting near the person who had it (apparently it records seat?). 16 of these people have been contacted, isolated, and tested. 1 person had an unregistered card, so they have put out a call with the details to hopefully find that one person. All they know is that there appears to have been a covid transfer on a bus. There was no masking at the time as we were a covid elimination zone. They were on the bus together for 15 minutes.
  4. I bet someone will do a public health study on this cluster, because where else has there been no Covid where you could watch a single case spread in a population. I'm hoping they learned some really valuable lessons that they can share.
  5. So in the first 12 days that it spread without restriction, the index case was at home on sickleave for 9 of those days. But he passed it to someone at Amicold before he started on sick leave, and the index case's 3 family members passed it to another workplace and 2 schools before they knew they had it. Then from the 2 workplaces and 2 schools, it passed to their families, and then to 2 churches and to 2 people who take a bus everyday. (we were not masking on public transport at that point). And then the index family went to a different city for a holiday and went to tourist attractions and
  6. Did you see that this cluster was 1 to 93 cases in 22 days; and during the last 10 of those days, Auckland was in lockdown (work from home, all churches/shops/restaurants closed). Also during the last 10 of those days, they were running around like crazy doing contact tracing and moving people into the quarantine facilities. 1 to 93 is fast especially with this kind of containment effort. So it only had 12 days to spread without restriction.
  7. My understanding is that everyone in the quarantine facilities are masked. They are not sure that it was the elevator, but that is the only know link between the 2 people that have the same virus genome sequence. The imported case who likely gave it to the maintenance worker could not yet have tested positive, because once positive, you are required to stay in your room (so no daily outside exercise so no being in the elevator). They test all residents on day 3 and day 12, and even then they say that 4% of positive cases will still receive 2 negative tests, which is why they require 14 d
  8. Yes! I have been very impressed! They did a very good job planning, and then actually implemented the plan. They found it about 10 days after the first person caught it (they think), and the cluster grew to 93 people by day 20 even with the city in lockdown for the last 10 days. What a nice example of exponential growth! Once elimination was accomplished in May, it is now cheaper for us to lock down a city for 2 weeks and spend a ton on testing to reach elimination status again. Our economy really got going again quite rapidly during the 100 days without Covid. My guess is that they ma
  9. They are not clear if the Amicold employee was the first case. The index case is now considered infected on the 31st of July, 10 days before he got tested (he had been home for 9 days on sick leave). That was long enough time delay that if it had come in on cold storage, they would not have been able to find active virus by the time they were testing. They know that this strain is from the UK or possibly Australia.
  10. So in the past 10 days we have tested 10% of Auckland and a good percent of the rest of the country. This is what has been found: 1) They have not found the source for the cluster of 93 people that started at the Amicold cold storage shipping company. The genome does not match the 1st wave (so not from 100 days ago), and it does not match any imported cases from quarantine. Plus, all environmental testing of Amicold came back negative. They have contact traced 2000 people and have massive testing in any regions where they expected spread. There was 1 new case today that was a family me
  11. Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake is also one of my all time favorites. It has The Most Beautiful Language of any book, ever. Here is the first sentence to whet your appetite! Gormenghast, that is, the main massing of the original stone, taken by itself would have displayed a certain ponderous architectural quality were it possible to have ignored the circumfusion of those mean dwellings that swarmed like an epidemic around its Outer Walls.
  12. The Luminaries won the Mann Booker prize a few years ago. It is a wonderful (but long) story about the gold rush in NZ in the 1860s. What made it win the Mann Booker prize was that Eleanor Catton set herself an unusual task of having structure dictate plot and characterization. She created 12 characters to represent the star signs and 6 characters to represent the planets. Then took the star alignment of the year the book was set, and wrote the book based on what she was told to do. So if Mars was in Capricorn in that month, those two characters would have to meet in that chapter and the M
  13. Will be interesting to see how MIT's policies will work at keeping outbreaks down. They only have 20% on campus. They asked those 20% of kids to tell the residential people who they would like in their bubble of 6. They then sorted the living accommodations to work with these bubbles. Students are not allowed to socialized with those outside their bubbles except with masks and social distancing. Each student is assigned to a bathroom, and there are only 2 students per bathroom. All sorority and fraternity housing is closed, even off campus. All meals are carry out. All common rooms/lounges
  14. I actually had tourists ask to hold him as a baby for a photo op. Like oh, here is my baby. I don't know you, but you can have him. And of course we should all expect that he will be fine with it. Quite odd.
  15. Wash is super hot water and dry on high heat. Freezing also works. If you can find a way to let your house freeze over for a week, you will cut the population off each year. My MIL's cottage at the lake in MI is not winterized, so freezes each year on the inside. My dh *loves* going there as his allergies stop.
  16. My son was so blonde that tourists would ask to take photos with him when he was a baby and toddler!
  17. What is interesting about the elimination strategy, is that we worked super hard to eliminate and then work super hard to keep it out. But our Chief Health Officer has always said that elimination is an ongoing effort. And that is exactly what has happened here. We got a new case, it spread to 50 others before we found it. We knocked it on its head and plan to be back at elimination status within 2 weeks. Basically, the government is saying that now that we are at elimination, we need to keep it even with an occasional short sharp local lockdown. That it is the best option for our econom
  18. We are up to 65,000 tests within 4 days of the first case testing positive, almost all done for Auckland residents. We had gotten down to only 1000 tests per day throughout the country. So this 4 day effort was heroic. Seriously heroic. The ramp up was amazing and swift. Clearly they had a plan and implemented it close to flawlessly. All 51 cases have a single genomic source - all linked back to Americold. It actually looks like the first person to test positive was the index case, which is both quite lucky and quite remarkable that it was caught. NZ has almost ruled out a quarantine
  19. There is no wide community spread. 28,000 tests from the community in 48 hours returned 0 positive cases. The 38 positive cases are all close contacts of what appears to be the index case, the person who worked at the cold storage international shipping co. All 38 cases have a genome linked to a single source. They have not stated it is definitely surface transmission, but there is currently no other source that has been found. The index case genome does not link to any quarantine genomes. Auckland in 12 day additional lockdown. Rest of country in just a 'be careful' mode for those 12
  20. 4 workers at the cold transport company and 10 of their family members (including 3 kids at 3 different schools). 2 at a financial agency where one of the cold storage family members worked. 1 friend. = 17 people in the cluster. All will be moved into the quarantine facilities. No other cases in any other clusters have yet been found with 10K tests from yesterday. We will get more info from the next 10K tests this morning, and hopefully the genomic testing. One thing we get right is that we can turn on a dime. One day everything open including a 43,000 person rugby match, next day all
  21. Beats me. I was really hoping it was the cold storage, because then the index case who worked there is actually the index case and did not get it from the community. But then my neighbor said that would be really bad for our international shipping and would grind that to a halt, which might be a worse situation. NZ really learned from Australia's delay. Within 6 hours of the positive test, they locked down the largest city in the country. Now we wait for 3 days while they investigate, but most people think the lockdown will be extended and likely go nation wide. Hard and fast. We ca
  22. Cool storage facility tested in the hunt for the index case in NZ. They said in the article that there is no published research on Covid entering via freight. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/122423538/coronavirus-auckland-cool-storage-facility-tested-over-concern-covid19-entered-nz-via-freight
  23. Crossing fingers on the cold storage international shipping. That is quite an odd job to have and then be the one family who gets it.
  24. Bit of a detective story happening over here. There is one family with it --4 of the 6 members have it. They know of no link to overseas travel. So the possibilities: 1) False positives have been ruled out 2) Quarantine/Air staff link: they are doing genomic sequencing to see if they can find a link between the family and someone in contact with the border. 3) International shipping: one of the members of the family apparently works in cold storage. So they are testing the environment/surfaces as the virus can survive longer on surfaces if cold/frozen. (this is the best option
  25. Wow! They just texted every phone in the country with that funny sound and the rules!
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