Record daily high 160 new Covid-19 community cases in NZ

Source: 1News

There are 160 new Covid-19 cases in the community on Saturday, made up of 151 in Auckland, one in Northland, seven in Waikato and one in Christchurch, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.

It's the highest number of daily community Covid-19 cases recorded in New Zealand since the pandemic began, and comes on the day a third anti-lockdown protest was held in Auckland.

"The case numbers reported today are a reminder of the infectiousness of Covid-19, and particularly the Delta variant, and the importance of vaccination as the best protection," the ministry said in a statement.

"The rise in case numbers is not unexpected and is line with modelling to date."

Of Saturday's new cases, seven residents and one staff member at Edmonton Meadows retirement village in Auckland's Henderson have tested positive for Covid-19. It comes after a resident was confirmed with the virus in Friday's update.

The new case in Christchurch is a person who recently travelled into New Zealand from overseas.

The fully vaccinated traveller had multiple negative tests in MIQ in Auckland, including a day 12 test, before being released and travelling to Christchurch.

However, on Thursday, they had a further test which came back positive on Friday night.

"The person is now self-isolating in Christchurch, pending further tests to determine the source of infection and whether it is acute or historical," the ministry said.

In Northland, there has actually been four new cases over the past 24 hours.

However, the ministry is officially reporting just one of these cases, as one was recorded in Friday's numbers, initially as an Auckland case and subsequently reclassified as a Northland case, and a further two have been reported to the ministry after 9am Saturday therefore will be added to the tally on Sunday.

"The four individuals are in the same household in southern Kaipara. Investigations are continuing to determine further details and potential links," the ministry said.

Of the seven new Waikato cases, two were reported on Friday but have been added to Saturday's official tally. They were both in Kāwhia.

Of the remaining five new cases, three are from Hamilton, one is from the Te Awamutu/Kihikihi area and one is from Ōtorohanga.

"Public health investigations have so far determined links for two Hamilton cases and the Te Awamutu/Kihikihi case. Investigations are continuing today to establish further links for the remaining four," the ministry said.

As at 10am on Saturday, 65 of the new cases are linked to the current Delta outbreak, including 38 household contacts.

The remaining 95 are under investigation to find a link.

The total number of cases in this Delta outbreak is now 3205, of which 1565 have recovered.

There are now 47 people with Covid-19 in hospital, including two in intensive care or a high dependency unit.

There are 21 at Auckland City Hospital, 14 at Middlemore Hospital and 12 at Waitemata Hospital.

The average age of people with Covid-19 in hospital in New Zealand is 45.

Saturday's update comes after 125 new community cases in New Zealand on Friday.

There are 3124 contacts linked to this outbreak, of which 79 per cent have been contacted and 72 per cent have received at least one test.

As of 12pm on Saturday, there were 415 locations of interest on the Ministry of Health's website, including 15 new exposure sites.

On Friday, 28,925 Covid-19 tests were processed, including 12,434 in Auckland.

In total, more than 4.06 million tests for Covid-19 have been processed since the pandemic began.

"Anyone with symptoms is asked to please get tested and reminded to get vaccinated today if they have not already," the ministry said.

On vaccines, 42,755 jabs were administered across the country on Friday, made up of 10,995 first doses and 31,760 second doses.

In total, more than 6.8 million Covid-19 vaccinations have been administered in New Zealand to date.

"Yesterday, several vaccines milestones were reached with 91 per cent of people over 30 having had, or booked, their first dose," the ministry said.

"Counties Manukau is now about 7000 doses short of reaching 90 per cent coverage for first doses, meaning all three Auckland DHBs should cross this threshold in the next few days."

There were also two new border cases to report on Saturday.

A case reported on Friday in Auckland has now been reclassified as a Northland case.

As well, another previously reported Auckland case has been reclassified as "under investigation".

These changes mean the total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand is now 5925 since the pandemic began.

Auckland and parts of Waikato are at Alert Level 3, with the rest of the country at Level 2.

On Friday it was reported Tonga reported its first Covid-19 case - a traveller from Christchurch.

The person - who travelled on October 27 - returned a negative pre-departure test before leaving New Zealand and is fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine.

In an update on Saturday the ministry said four household contacts for that person had been identified.

"The household contacts include two people who remain in Christchurch, and two people who travelled from Christchurch to Wellington on Tuesday 26 October," the ministry said.

"All contacts have been contacted by public health officials, been told to self-isolate and get tested.

"Anyone with symptoms is asked to please get tested and reminded to get vaccinated today if they have not already."

The Ministry of Health also said it was working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and officials in Tonga to confirm the case.