Today, 83 new Covid-19 community cases were reported in New Zealand.
Dr. Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of Health, said 82 of the new cases are in Auckland, with one in Wellington. The Wellington case represents a close contact of an existing case, and it was isolated with no population exposure while infectious.
Dr. Bloomfield and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern are giving a press conference to update the public on the latest progress in the government’s battle against the Covid-19 Delta outbreak.
Watch the briefing here:
Dr Bloomfield said 34 people are now in New Zealand hospitals with the coronavirus, including two people in ICU. All are in a stable condition.
Three of those cases are in North Shore Hospital, 18 in Middlemore Hospital, 13 in Auckland City Hospital, while one is in Wellington Regional Hospital. Dr Bloomfield said there were appropriate isolation and infection prevention control plans in place at all hospitals where Covid-positive patients were being managed.
The total number of confirmed cases associated with the Auckland outbreak is now 511 – 496 in Auckland and 15 in Wellington.
Dr Bloomfield said 453 of the cases to date are epidemiologically linked, with the remaining 58 links being established epidemiologically and through the ongoing genome sequencing.
There have been 32,771 individual contacts that have been formally identified. About 80 percent have been followed up formally by contact tracers.
Dr Bloomfield said more than 1700 contact tracers trained and available to do the initial calls, as well as all the daily follow ups with the large number of close contacts.
There were also two new cases reported in recent returnees in managed isolation today.
The total number of active cases being managed in New Zealand is now 551.
The country remains at alert level four until midnight Tuesday, when all districts south of Auckland will move to alert level three. Aucklanders have warned it may be several more weeks before the city can move down alert levels.
Dr Bloomfield said there were no new unexpected detections of Covid-19 in waste water to report today. Samples collected in Christchurch after earlier positive results have so far come back negative. More samples will be taken.