Covid-19 numbers: 68 new community cases in New Zealand today

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There are 68 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today, the Ministry of Health reports.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 08: Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay speaks to media during a press conference at Parliament on May 08, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand.

Photo: Pool / Getty Images

At today’s government update, Director of Public Health Caroline McElnay said there were now 277 cases now in the Delta outbreak – 263 in Auckland, 14 in Wellington.

There were two new cases in Wellington announced, both close contacts who had been in isolation during their infectious period.

There was also one new case in managed isolation and one previously reported community case had been reclassified after being confirmed as a false positive.

Dr McElnay said there had been Covid-19 detected in Christchurch’s wastewater, but stressed that there were three people with the coronavirus isolating in the city and the result was expected.

Further samples are being collected from Warkworth, following a second positive detection. And in Wellington, it continued to only be detected at Moa Point – which probably reflected the known cases, McElnay said.

There were at present six sub-clusters associated with the outbreak.

The two largest were the Birkdale Social Network cluster associated with the original case A which had 35 confirmed cases and the other was the Māngere church cluster which had 114 confirmed cases. The remaining clusters have fewer than 10 people associated with them.

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McElnay said there had been an additional 20 new locations of interest since the last Covid-19 update – but only three were added today.

That brought the total to 495 locations of interest.

One was a pre-lockdown rugby game and two supermarkets post-lockdown, McElnay said

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said 87,772 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were administered yesterday.

As at 8am this morning, 24,402 individual contacts have been formally identified. Sixty-five percent of them had been followed up by contact tracers and were self-isolating, while 71 percent of all contacts identified had been tested.

Work was underway to contact the remaining 8647 contacts, McElnay said. Half of those contacts were identified yesterday.

More staff were being trained today to contact trace and 1400 contact tracers were expected to be in call centres by the end of the day.

There were 41,731 tests processed yesterday, with 3303 in Wellington and more than 20,000 swabs in Auckland.

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Dr McElnay reminded people to “please be kind” to testing staff as they were geared up for another big day today.

She also reminded people that to help speed up the process at testing centres, people needed to bring their NHI number. It could be found on a hospital letter, a prescription or people could call 0800855066 to find out what it is.

There were new 62 cases in the community yesterday.

Earlier today Dr Ashley Bloomfield said officials are considering the issue of booster injections for those who received their Pfizer vaccines at the start of the year.

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