Record 160 new community cases, with 151 in Auckland

By Te Ao - Māori News

New Zealand has the largest single-day total of Covid cases today, with 160 new community cases, the Health Ministry has revealed. 

151 are in Auckland, seven in Waikato, one in Northland and one in Christchurch.

The new Waikato cases include two in Kāwhia reported yesterday, and three in Hamilton, one in the Te Awamutu/Kihikihi area, and one from Ōtorohanga.

The ministry said there have been four new cases over the past 24 hours in Northland, however, today they are officially reporting just one of these cases.

"[One was recorded in yesterday’s numbers, initially as an Auckland case and subsequently reclassified as a Northland case, and a further two have been reported to the Ministry after 9am today. Those two will be officially added to the tally tomorrow."

The four Northland individuals are in the same household in southern Kaipara, the ministry said.

The total number of cases in the current Delta outbreak is now 3,205.

So far only 65 of today’s 160 cases are epidemiologically linked, with investigations continuing into 95 of the new cases to determine any links.

"The rise in case numbers is not unexpected and is line with modelling to date," the ministry said in a statement Saturday.

"The case numbers reported today are a reminder of the infectiousness of COVID-19, and particularly the Delta variant, and the importance of vaccination as the best protection."

47 cases are in hospital, up from 37 yesterday. 12 are in Waitemata, 14 in Middlemore and 21 in Auckland. Two cases are in ICU or HDU. The average age of the current hospitalisations is 45 years.

Waikato Update
Public health investigations have so far determined links for two Hamilton cases and the Te Awamutu/Kihikihi case. Investigations are continuing today to establish further links for the remaining four. All are in isolation with public health oversight, the ministry said.

"A pop-up testing centre in Kāwhia remains open today at the Maketu Marae. This is open until 3 today. 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. 

Christchurch update
The Christchurch case recently travelled into New Zealand from overseas and is self-isolating in Christchurch, pending further tests to determine the source of infection and whether it is acute or historical., the ministry said.

"They had multiple negative tests in MIQ in Auckland including a Day 12 test, before being released and travelling to Christchurch. They have reported as being full vaccinated. On Thursday, they had a further test, which returned a positive result last night."

The ministry said it is important that anyone in Canterbury, especially those in Christchurch, with any symptoms, no matter how mild, get tested. Those in Canterbury are also reminded to get vaccinated today if they have not already.

Auckland update
The ministry said the focus today in Auckland remains on testing in areas identified as having higher positivity rates, where the risk of unidentified cases is higher.

"Public health staff are asking people in the suburbs of Redvale, Rosedale, New Lynn, Wiri, Drury, Henderson and Manurewa with symptoms to get tested – no matter how mild their symptoms may be. The advice is the same even if people are vaccinated."