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3 minutes "casual contact" transmission New Zealan

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KiminNM View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 22 2020 at 9:35am

Summary of info in a Twitter post by epidemiologist Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding. (He’s a great follow on twitter)
NEW: 3 minutes “casual contact” led to transmission in NZ where cases rare & contact tracing very detailed. But now “concern mounts over the revelation of one port worker contracted #COVID19 after just 3 minutes of contact w/ a sick man.” WORRISOME.
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2) this is precisely why the old CDC 15 consecutive minutes close contact rule was abolished. It’s now 15 cumulative minutes over a day. But clearly just 3 minutes is enough according to NZ contract tracing.

3) this is on top of the new Vermont prison epidemic of lots of short intermittent exposure to asymptomatic inmate led to prison guard contracting the Coronavirus.


The article text: 

New details have emerged of latest Covid infections that are currently being treated in New Zealand.

The Ministry of Health has revealed a breakdown of who is infected after a fresh outbreak among a group of Russian and Ukrainian seaman recently arrived in the country, and a new community outbreak involving port staff.

Yesterday was the largest increase in a 24-hour period of active cases since August's outbreak with 25 new cases.

It comes as concern mounts over the revelation one of the infected port workers contracted the disease after just three minutes of contact with a sick man.

Details have also been released about the movements of one of the infected port workers, with a popular west Auckland hotel the centre of a large public health alert.

Last night all patrons and staff who were at The Malt Greenhithe last Friday night were told to get tested and self-isolate until they received a negative result, after one of the male port workers who had since tested positive for Covid-19 had spent around two and a half hours at the hotel.

The Port Workers

This newest community infection comes after a 27-year-old man was working on a visiting ship, the Sofrana Surville.

He had travelled to New Plymouth for work in his own car, kept much to himself during his stay and wore full personal protection equipment at work on board the ship. He travelled back to Auckland on Wednesday night, returning to work on Friday when he began feeling unwell. He left work and was tested for Covid-19.

Yesterday health authorities confirmed the man had passed the virus on to an Auckland colleague previously considered a casual contact.

The Ministry of Health said that person had a very short exposure on Friday to the sick man and was tested on Sunday returning a negative result.

But he became symptomatic on Tuesday, was tested and returned a positive result. Now his household was also being tested.

The third man who has fallen ill was a workplace close contact of the marine electronics engineer and had been in the Auckland quarantine facility since Sunday.

Ministry of Health data shows one of the men is aged in his 40s and the other is in his 60s. Both are Aucklanders.

One of these men spent nearly three hours at a west Auckland hotel on Friday night.

Health authorities said detailed interviews and contact tracing were under way for the men, and officials were taking a very precautionary approach to managing the cases.

Yesterday the Taranaki District Health Board announced all close and casual contacts identified as being at risk of having contact with the 27-year-old who worked for two days at Port Taranaki last week have all returned negative test results.

The Seamen

According to a breakdown of confirmed cases linked to the overseas fishing crews, all are en aged between 30 and 69.

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KiwiMum View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2020 at 1:00pm

This is a really interesting case. The 25 new cases are all Russian seamen who have flown here in a group of 200 to man some trawlers on their next voyage. All were tested before leaving Russia, and once they arrived here they were all taken to quarantine facilities (which happens to all people arriving in NZ). As is standard practice, they were tested on day 3 and 25 of them came back positive. They were all tested again yesterday and those results will be available today. It's obviously a highly contagious strain. 

The port worker was taking precautions and still he caught it. Thankfully he did all the right things when he started to feel unwell, but unfortunately he went to the pub on Friday evening, the same day that he was exposed to the virus. His friends are now in self isolation. 

At the moment we only have those  2 cases of covid in the community, all the rest of our cases are in managed isolation and are only released once they are over it and returning negative test results. We've been getting a lot of new cases coming in from India in the last few weeks.

You can't fix stupid.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hazelpad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 23 2020 at 8:07am

The CDC updated its advice as well based on a similar case.

Basically a prison warden had multiple short contacts with some positive inmates.  He and they had  masks on during the brief   exposures which were called transient exposures.  They say multiple transient interactions amounting to more than 15 mins in total in a 24hr period now count as significant exposure.

CDC updates its guidelines for close Covid-19 contact after prison guard gets infected

(CNN)The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its definition of a close contact with a Covid-19 patient to include multiple, brief exposures, after a Vermont prison worker appears to have been infected that way, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said Wednesday.

The new definition includes exposures adding up to a total of 15 minutes spent six feet or closer to an infected person. Previously, the CDC defined a close contact as 15 minutes of continuous exposure to an infected individual.
The agency changed the definition after a report from Vermont of a corrections officer who became infected after several brief interactions with coronavirus-positive inmates -- none of them lasting 15 minutes, but adding up over time.
The corrections officer never spent much time with any particular inmate, but opened and closed cell doors, collected soiled linen, opened doors to shower and recreation rooms for inmates, conducted health checks and dispensed medication, Julia Pringle, a CDC officer working with the Vermont Department of Health, and colleagues reported.
The six inmates had no symptoms and had traveled from out-of-state facilities while they were awaiting coronavirus test results, Pringle's team reported in the CDC's weekly report, the MMWR.
His 22 short encounters added up to about 17 minutes of total exposure, the team calculated.
The data suggests at least one of the six inmates transmitted the virus to the officer during one of these brief encounters. The six inmates wore microfiber cloth masks for some, but not all interactions with the officer. "During all interactions, the correctional officer wore a microfiber cloth mask, gown, and eye protection (goggles)," the team wrote.
edfield said it's an example of real-world science informing policy. The CDC has now updated its definition of what constitutes a close contact.
"As we get more data and understand the science of Covid, we are going to incorporate that in our recommendations," Redfield said at a news conference held at CDC headquarters in Atlanta.
"Originally, contact that was considered to be high risk for potential exposure to Covid was someone within six feet for more than 15 minutes," Redfield added.
The new data is being incorporated into recommendations, he said.
"In an MMWR published today, CDC and Vermont health officials found that multiple, short and non-consecutive exposures to persons confirmed to have COVID-19 led to transmission," the CDC said in a statement.
"The CDC website now defines a close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Previous language defined a close contact as someone who spent at least 15 minutes within 6 feet of a confirmed case."
The website notes that this is not an exact science
"Factors to consider when defining close contact include proximity (closer distance likely increases exposure risk), the duration of exposure (longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk), whether the infected individual has symptoms (the period around onset of symptoms is associated with the highest levels of viral shedding), if the infected person was likely to generate respiratory aerosols (e.g., was coughing, singing, shouting), and other environmental factors (crowding, adequacy of ventilation, whether exposure was indoors or outdoors)," it says.
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