172 new community cases; Wellington case confirmed as in 'early stages of infection'

By Te Ao - Māori News

There are 172 new community cases of Covid-19 today, bringing the total number of cases in this current Delta outbreak to 6,701.

148 of the new cases are in Auckland, 12 in Waikato, four in Northland, three in Bay of Plenty, four in Lakes and one in Wellington.

The Wellington case first reported yesterday, the Ministry of Health says is an essential worker from Auckland working in the city.

A case announced Friday in Wellington is today being confirmed by the Ministry of Health, following a repeat swab returning a second positive result.
"The initial weak result, combined with the follow-up test, indicates the case is in the early stages of infection," the ministry said in a statement. The person is self-isolating.

"The positive result was picked up as part of routine surveillance testing in Wellington, for an essential worker from Auckland working in the city. Investigations have identified a small number of close contacts, including the case’s co-workers, who are currently isolating and being tested. So far, all results from this testing have come back negative."

Three of the Northland cases are in Kaitaia, Ruakaka and Dargaville. All three of these people are close contacts of existing cases and were already in isolation. The fourth case resides in Auckland where they are isolating, the ministry said.

Bay of Plenty
Two of the Bay of Plenty cases are in Tauranga and one is in Mount Maunganui which is connected to an existing case. The two Tauranga cases are in the same household and investigations into the source of their infection are underway.

A further case tested positive after presenting to Tauranga Hospital emergency department late last night and will be added to official figures tomorrow. The ministry said the risk from last night’s exposure event at the hospital is low but further evaluations are being carried out today.

"One ward has been closed to both visitors and new patients out of an abundance of caution. Three staff members have been stood down as a precaution.

"Everyone who lives in or has travelled to the region is asked to monitor locations of interest regularly and follow any advice given. Anyone with Covid-19 related symptoms is asked to get tested as soon as possible – even if the symptoms are mild," the statement said.

Of the four new cases reported in the Lakes DHB region today, two are connected to the Taupō cluster, one of which is in Rotorua Hospital.

There are also two new cases in Rotorua, the ministry said. One is linked to an existing case and investigations into the other case are ongoing but potential links have already been identified.

The ministry did not indicate where in the Waikato the 12 new cases are located, simply saying that pop-up testing centres are operating today in Hamilton, Ôtorohanga, Huntly, Ngâruawâhia, Thames and Te Kuiti.

70 cases, whose average age is 50, are in hospital, six less than yesterday, the ministry says.  Twenty are in North Shore, 18 in Middlemore, 30 in Auckland, one in Whangarei and one in Waikato. Five cases are in intensive care or high dependency units.