Christchurch has two new expected and linked community cases of Covid-19 today, both from a single household linked to the cases identified earlier this week.
This brings the total number of active cases in the region to four. A total of 13 other close contacts have now been identified, who are isolating and will undergo further testing.
The Ministry of Health says there are 125 new community cases of Covid-19 today, 118 in Auckland, four in Waikato, one in Northland plus the two in Canterbury.
They include a rest home resident in West Auckland and two Waikato cases who had visited Kāwhia.
The ministry says the rise in case numbers is a reminder of the infectiousness of Covid-19, and particularly the Delta variant, and the importance of vaccination as the best protection. But it says with over 30,000 tests processed nationwide yesterday, these results aren’t unexpected.
74 cases linked
A further case in Auckland who is an MIQ worker, first announced yesterday, remains under investigation to determine whether they are a community or border-related case.
As of 10am, 74 of today’s cases are linked - including 29 household contacts and 51 remain under investigation.
The new Christchurch cases reported today were close contacts of the two initial cases. They are isolating at home.
The local public health unit is gathering further information from these cases to identify any close contacts and exposure events, including any locations of interest.
People across Canterbury are urged to closely monitor the ministry’s locations of interest webpage, which is updated regularly, with initial sites already identified.
Testing and vaccination sites are available across Canterbury, today and into the weekend. Details can be found at the Canterbury DHB website.
Yesterday across Canterbury, more than 3,000 tests were carried out and nearly 11,000 vaccinations were administered – with 90 per cent of residents now having received their first dose, and 71 per cent fully vaccinated.
Covid-19 was detected in a Christchurch wastewater sample taken on Wednesday from a catchment that covers a population of more than 300,000.
Further samples are being collected today from a range of sites across Canterbury, in addition to testing in Christchurch, with laboratory results expected early next week.
The ministry says it is continuing to concentrate on testing in areas with higher positivity rates and where the risk of unidentified cases is higher.
It wants people in Redvale, Rosedale, New Lynn, Wiri, Drury, Henderson and Manurewa to get a test as soon as possible if they have symptoms – no matter how mild and even if they are fully vaccinated.
Testing is available at GP and Urgent Care clinics, with their locations on the Healthpoint website.
Meanwhile, 478 Covid-19 cases in the community are isolating at home.
A resident at Edmonton Meadows retirement village in Henderson has been confirmed as having Covid-19.
Public health staff say the risk of infection is low but, as a precaution, testing is being arranged for all staff and residents. Both staff and residents at the village have high vaccination rates.
Maketu Marae offers tests
Four new cases have been reported in the Waikato. One has already been linked to existing cases and interviews with the remaining cases are underway.
Three of the new cases were in the Te Awamutu/Kihikihi area and one in Ōtorohanga.
An additional two cases have been confirmed today and will be officially included in tomorrow’s numbers. Both were in Kāwhia at the time they were tested but travelled to the Auckland region before receiving their positive results. They are now in isolation in the Auckland region.
A pop-up testing centre was set up in Kāwhia this morning at the Maketu Marae which will be running for the next three days from 11am to 3pm each day.
Anyone in the Kāwhia areas with symptoms, even if they are mild and they are vaccinated, is urged to get tested.
As well as the permanent testing site in Hamilton, there are five pop-up testing sites operating today in Hamilton, Kāwhia, Ōtorohanga, Whatawhata, and Te Awamutu. See the DHB website for location details and the Healthpoint website for all other testing providers.
There were 3,230 swabs were taken/tests were processed throughout Waikato yesterday and 4,018 vaccinations were given.
Few other cases
No new cases have been found in the Nelson Marlborough region following a case from Waikato notified late last week. The case has been isolating in Blenheim.
One new case in Northland brings the total associated with this cluster to eight. This case is not unexpected and the person is a household member of a case who was already isolating.
There were 667 swabs taken and 1,163 vaccinations in Northland yesterday. Northland DHB is continuing to encourage regionwide testing to rule out any undetected community spread.
There are dedicated testing sites operating at Kaitaia, Rawene, Kerikeri, Ōhaeawai, Kawakawa, Dargaville and Whangārei. Details of testing locations are available on the Healthpoint website and the Northland DHB website.
Today 74 of the125 cases have been epidemiologically linked. Cases yet to be epidemiologically linked today total 51.
In the current cluster 2,650 have been linked and 289 remain unlinked from the past 14 days.
Some 39 Covid cases are in Auckland hospitals. Their average age is 49. Four cases are in intensive care.