Covid-19 has 24 community cases, with 18 in Auckland and six in Waikato.

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Today, there are 24 new Covid-19 cases in the community, with 18 of them in Auckland.

The other six are in the Waikato. Three of the Waikato cases were made public yesterday but are included in today’s numbers.

There are two cases in recent returnees in managed isolation and quarantine.

Of today’s 24 cases, seven are yet to be linked. Of yesterday’s cases, eight cases remain unlinked. All the Waikato cases are linked.

There remain 12 active subclusters where there have been recent cases.

Based on already notified cases and their contacts, an additional 48 cases are expected.

There were 14,905 tests were processed nationwide yesterday with 12,595 of those in Auckland. More than 85,000 swabs have been taken across Auckland in the past seven days.

Waikato DHB has not identified any locations of interest in Hamilton city at this stage. All potential exposure events have had direct interactions between individuals.

New locations may be added to the ministry’s list online as they come through.

Today marks seven weeks since the first case in this outbreak was identified and New Zealand moved to heightened alert levels.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said despite the measures introduced in the first phase of lowering restrictions for Auckland, the city will continue to have some of the toughest restrictions of anywhere in the world.

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“I know that’s hard work but it is hard work that has literally saved lives while we have vaccinated hundreds of thousands of people. Now we just need to keep going.”

Ardern said in one case a person was unvaccinated with the virus in their household, but not one of their family members – who were vaccinated – got the virus.

Only 3 percent of cases in this outbreak were vaccinated, and modelling suggests vaccination has already reduced infections to about half what they could have been, she said.

“I want everyone to be able to satisfy themselves that the vaccine is safe, but I want them to do that now.”

Testing in Waikato

Waikato DHB confirmed additional testing capacity today at its testing sites around the region, as the teams there continued to see unprecedented demand.

More than 6000 COVID-19 swabs taken from around the region on Monday were currently being processed.

Community testing centres were operating with extended hours today, with testing underway from 8am at the Hamilton sites. Pop-up sites were continuing today at Raglan and Huntly.

Limited exposure events in Waikato

Locations of Interest associated with Waikato sites will continue to be added to the Ministry of Health’s website.

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Waikato DHB had not identified any locations of interest of significance in Hamilton at this stage. All potential exposure events were direct interactions between individuals which have been followed up with directly.

Indication so far were that prior to receiving positive tests, the households affected had been following guidance on mask wearing and social distancing, the MOH said.

Auckland suburbs of interest

Meanwhile in Auckland, people with or without symptoms are asked to get tested if they live in any of the following eight suburbs of interest: Clover Park, Māngere, Favona, Manurewa, Mount Wellington/Sylvia Park, Henderson, Papakura, and Red Beach.

Whole genome sequencing for the Auckland-based truck driver who drove to Palmerston North has been completed confirming the case is linked to one of the sub clusters in Auckland.

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