33 new Covid-19 community cases in NZ as Delta spreads to Waikato

Source: 1News

There are 33 new cases of Covid-19 in the community in New Zealand on Sunday, Dr Ashley Bloomfield has confirmed. 

Sunday's update was given during an unplanned press conference with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Bloomfield, the Director-General of Health.

Of these cases, 32 of them are in Auckland while one of them is in the Waikato region.

However, a second Covid-19 case was also discovered in Waikato but it isn't recorded in Sunday's numbers due to the time it was recorded. 

Instead it will be included in Monday's total, Dr Bloomfield said. 

The two cases, one in Raglan and the other in Hamilton East, are close associates of each other but haven't been linked to the wider Delta outbreak at this stage. 

"We can expect that the interviews with both cases and the whole genome sequencing which is being done with urgency will help us," Bloomfield said. 

The Raglan case and their three household contacts had been self-isolating but were moved to an Auckland quarantine facility. 

The Hamilton East case was tested on Saturday after becoming unwell, they were transferred safely to Waikato Hospital overnight for treatment. 

Bloomfield says no exposure events were linked to the transfer as the hospital was prepared to receive the infected person. 

Their household contacts are self-isolating and rapid testing is underway. 

These cases have prompted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to announce a jump in alert levels for parts of the Waikato region. 

The areas moving to Level 3 include Raglan, then further south through Te Kauwhata, Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Hamilton city.  

The rest of New Zealand remains at Level 2 outside of Auckland and the affected parts of Waikato. 

Also included in Sunday's Covid-19 case total is the Auckland-based truck driver who tested positive after travelling to Palmerston North while infectious for work. 

They are now isolating at a bespoke quarantine facility on hospital grounds in Palmerston North. 

Their two household contacts in Auckland have returned a negative test result and are self-isolating at home. 

Two of the 15 new cases on Sunday have a possible link, and three are within the same household. 

"Interviews are underway, and we can fully expect those will identify links back to our existing outbreak," Bloomfield said. 

There are 26 people in hospital in New Zealand with Covid-19, most of whom are in Auckland. 

Three are in ICU or high dependency units at Middlemore Hospital. 

No traces of Covid-19 were detected in wastewater samples collected from across the country. 

Meanwhile, four of yesterday's 27 cases remain unlinked. 

Cabinet is set to decide on Monday whether Auckland should drop alert levels with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern set to share the announcement that afternoon.