Twenty-one new Covid-19 community cases in NZ today

Source: 1News

There are 21 new Covid-19 community cases in New Zealand today, bringing this outbreak's total to 72.

Today's new cases include 20 in Auckland and one in Wellington. The Wellington case was reported yesterday, but included in the national tally today so there remains a total of six cases in the capital.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield gave the update today.

Bloomfield said 61 of the total cases in this outbreak were now confirmed as part of the Auckland cluster; with the remaining 11 under investigation. Bloomfield said an initial assessment of the cases shows an obvious link.

" ESR continues to run the whole genome sequencing daily on samples taken from all new cases to support our ongoing investigation. Reporting today on 17 of the cases shows that all have genomic links to the Auckland cluster, and that includes the University of Auckland student who travelled to Wellington late last week," he said.

"The number of contacts has increased significantly, something we had expected as we identify more cases and locations of interest. As of 9 o’clock this morning 8667 individual contacts had been formally identified and we expect that will continue to increase through the day as further records are fully processed."

All of these cases are considered close contacts and will receive regular follow up. 

Bloomfield said 4124 have been formally followed up and were self isolating and a third have already returned a test.

"Work is underway to contact the remaining 4500-or so contacts and most of these were identified yesterday as a result of recent high exposure large events," he added.

Bloomfield said any further details of how the new cases, which have since been moved into managed isolation, became infected and their movements would be released as information becomes available. 

Click here  for the latest contract tracing locations of interest from the Ministry of Health.

The Government announced Friday that New Zealand would remain at Alert Level 4 until 11.59pm Tuesday.

As well today, there are three new Covid-19 cases to report at the border.

Yesterday, 38,389 tests for Covid-19 were processed throughout the country, adding to more than 127,000 tests in the past week.

"Clearly a huge effort and helps to build the picture of the outbreak and give us increasing confidence about where the boundaries of it are," Bloomfield said.

Wastewater testing continues at 41 sites throughout the country, covering 3.7 million New Zealanders, including 13 Auckland locations and four Wellington locations.

"There were detections reported in both Auckland and Wellington today, in Wellington it was again a sample from Moa Point which was taken yesterday," Bloomfield said.

Auckland had positive wastewater samples taken Friday from eastern and western catchments of the city, but Bloomfield added that the most recent tests taken at Rosedale and Albany on the North Shore came back negative for the first time this week.

Warkworth test results are expected in coming days. 

There has been no other detections in wastewater.