he Ministry of Health has identified 53 new Covid-19 cases in the community today.
The ministry stated in a statement that all 53 instances were in Auckland.
The total number of community cases in Auckland has now risen to 547, with 15 in Wellington, bringing the total number of active cases in the community outbreak to 562.
According to the ministry, there are 522 instances that have been clearly epidemiologically connected to another case or sub-cluster, and another 42 for which ties have not to be thoroughly confirmed.
“There are currently seven epidemiologically-linked subclusters identified within this outbreak. The two largest clusters are the Birkdale Social Network cluster (79 confirmed cases), and the Māngere church cluster (280 confirmed cases).”
Of the current community cases, 37 cases are in hospital – 32 are in a stable condition on a ward and five cases are in a stable condition in ICU. Two cases are in North Shore Hospital, 20 are in Middlemore Hospital, 14 are in Auckland City Hospital, and one is in Wellington Regional Hospital.
“There are appropriate isolation and infection prevention and control plans in place at all hospitals where these patients are being managed,” the ministry said.
There is also two recovered community cases in Auckland and one other case in a MIQ facility that has now recovered, bringing the total number of active cases being managed in New Zealand to 603.
There is also one new case and one historical case of Covid-19 to report in managed isolation facilities (MIQ) today.
The new case in MIQ arrived in the country from Qatar on 25 August.
The ministry said the historical case arrived on 25 August and tested positive at day 0. They are currently at a quarantine facility in Auckland.
It also said the full travel history has now been confirmed for case one reported in yesterday’s statement – they travelled from Sri Lanka, via Auckland.
Since 1 January 2021, there have been 125 historical cases, out of a total of 1345 cases.
The total number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic is 3163.
On whole genome sequencing, ESR has run sequencing on samples taken from around 345 community cases. Analysis of these samples has determined they are all genomically linked to the current outbreak, the ministry said.
Update on testing
Yesterday, 16,370 Covid-19 tests were processed across the country.
The ministry said testing centres in Auckland had another busy day yesterday with around 15,000 swabs taken across Auckland – around 10,500 at community testing centres and around 4,500 at general practice and urgent care clinics.
“There are 26 community testing centres available for testing across Auckland today, this includes four invitation-only testing centres for high-risk groups and to prioritise essential health care workers, six regular community testing centres and 16 pop-up testing centres.
“The community testing centres at Wiri and Balmoral are operating extended hours this week and will stay open until 8pm to supplement existing testing in Urgent Care Clinics.”
A mobile testing site also remains at Amberlea Home and Hospital today for testing of residents and staff, the ministry said.
“To speed up the process for our staff at testing centres it is helpful to bring your NHI number with you. You can find your NHI number on a hospital letter or prescription. Or call 0800 855 066 to find out yours.”
The total number of Covid-19 tests processed to date is 2,967,673.
The seven-day rolling average is 34,260.
The ministry said last week, ESR conducted testing of wastewater samples on behalf of the New Zealand Defence Force.
In total, 12 samples were submitted by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) to ESR (via Watercare and Protec Consulting).
Four samples were received on 23 August, two samples received on 24 August, and six samples received on 26 August.
“Covid-19 was detected in a sample from Fort Takapuna, on Auckland’s North Shore sampled on 23 August.
“The virus was not detected in the other 10 samples tested for NZDF.”
On the Crowne Plaza hotel, the ministry said negative day 12 test results have now been received for all six people who were in the lobby at the same time as the earliest identified case.
On locations of interest, the ministry reminded people to keep checking its website.
As at 8am this morning, there were 444 locations of interest.
Yesterday 47,897 vaccines were administered. Of these 36,476 were first doses and 11,421 were second doses. This is a record for a Sunday, the ministry said.
More than 3.33 million doses of the vaccine have been administered to date (to 11.59pm on 29 August).
Of these, 2.17 million are first doses and more than 1.16 million are second doses.
Cabinet ministers are meeting today to decide the next steps for Auckland and Northland as experts call for tighter restrictions at alert levels 3 and 4.
Over the weekend, 165 new cases of Covid-19 were announced in connection to the Delta outbreak – 82 on Saturday and 83 on Sunday.