Delta adds 29 new Covid cases; five in Waikato

By Will Trafford

Seven of the new 29 community cases of Covid-19 announced today are so-called ‘mystery cases’ with no epidemiological link established to a current case.

That's according to public health director Dr Caroline McElnay.

Five of the new cases are in Waikato, the other 24 in Tāmaki.

There are now 22 cases in Waikato and all are linked to the existing outbreak.

The total number in the outbreak has risen to 1448.

Nine people who were receiving treatment for Covid-19 have been discharged from hospital in the past 24 hours, leaving 23 people hospitalised, with four in ICU.

Some 23,387 were tested nationwide yesterday, with 12,757 of those in Auckland and 6480 tests taken across Waikato.

There are seven pop-up testing sites in Waikato today in Hamilton, Karapiro, Raglan, Huntly, Kawhia and Tokoroa.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says vaccination rates by suburbs will be released later this afternoon after Māori health providers led calls for more information on where their services were most needed.

“We are seeing good uptake of vaccination among Māori and Pacific people,” he said.

Not anti-vaxxers

While acknowledging there is misinformation online, Hipkins says the cause for the lack of vaccination particularly outside of Tāmaki appears more related to the government’s previous success in keeping Covid-19 out of the motu.

"The feedback that we're getting - it's not necessarily that people are staunchly anti-vaccination, it's just that they have a degree of comfort at the moment that they don't think they need a vaccination," he said.

Acknowledging the government won’t be able to reach out to every single unvaccinated person, he appealed friends and whānau to lead the discussion about why they chose to get vaccinated.

If one out of four people who’ve been vaccinated brings someone who hasn’t, the country could reach 100 per cent vaccination, he said.

There were two new Covid-19 cases at the border today.