Aucklanders crossing their fingers as Delta drops to 35 new cases

By Te Ao - Māori News

The Ministry of Health has reported 35 new cases of Covid-19, all in Auckland.

This comes as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will announce alert levels in today's 4pm 'media' stand-up.

The Ministry of Health confirmed a follow-up test, for a person currently in Katikati, in the Bay of Plenty region, returned a negative result.

While the case remains under investigation, the public health risk is deemed low given the person’s vaccination status, regular test history, good use of the NZ Covid Tracer app and rapid contact, testing and isolation of family members, all of whom also returned negative results.

Some 14 of today's cases have known links to existing cases (including four household contacts) and 21 remain under investigation.

This takes Auckland's total to 1,573 (1,153 of whom have recovered) and the total in the Delta outbreak to 1,622.

There are now 33 people in hospital. Five are in North Shore, 16 in Middlemore, nine in Auckland hospitals including one in Starship Hospital, one in Waikato Base Hospital and one in Palmerston North Hospital. Seven are in ICU or high-dependency units.

Hospital staff cases

Two staff members have now returned positive results for Covid-19 following a positive case reported yesterday in a patient receiving treatment in the dialysis unit adjacent to North Shore Hospital.

The connection between the three cases is being investigated.

A number of staff members have been stood down initially as a precaution, and all those staff who have been tested have returned negative results.

Auckland DHB last night informed the ministry that a fully vaccinated staff member tested positive for Covid-19 over the weekend.

Auckland City Hospital has now identified all contacts of the staff member, to carry out testing onsite for staff and patients.

Two further hospital staff members have tested positive. Of the three, two were tested at a community testing site while one was tested as part of routine workplace surveillance.

Initial investigations have shown there are no links to the NICU parent case.

Northland case update

Whole genome sequencing for the Auckland case who travelled to Northland has been linked to the Auckland outbreak but investigators continue to look for which subcluster it is linked to. 

This person remains in an Auckland quarantine facility.

A second person who is thought to have travelled with this case has been contacted but not yet located.  

Public health staff continue to work closely with the person to determine any locations of interest or exposure events associated with the case. There are 21 close contacts associated with this case. The household of the case and travel companion is included in this number.

Northlanders have been told to remain vigilant and get tested if they have symptoms or have been at a location of interest or area of interest at the times specified on the ministry website, and should isolate until they receive a result.

Vaccine update

Just over 42,000 vaccine doses were administered today. Some 9,038 of the total 42,226 were first doses, and 33,143 people became fully vaccinated.

More than 2,384,783 people are now fully vaccinated in New Zealand.