There are seven new Covid-19 cases, all linked to the Auckland cluster.
A new case reported over the weekend remains unlinked, although genomic sequencing indicates the strain is linked to the Auckland cluster. The person presented themself to North Shore Hospital overnight on Friday. They’re in a critical condition in the intensive care unit.
Another case from over the weekend remains unlinked. This person had Covid-19 before coming to New Zealand in June. Their brother also visited Hobbiton, which was visited by someone with Covid-19.
Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said he was particularly concerned about the North Shore case, which popped up unexpectedly.
In addition to the Rydges Hotel maintenance worker, these are the only community cases that remain unlinked.
Altogether there are 110 active cases of Covid-19 in the country that were found in the community.
Health Minister Chris Hipkins said an "aggressively targeted" testing drive is due to get underway. The aim is to test 70,000 people in the next week - 7,000 a day in Auckland and 3,000 throughout the rest of the country.
Hipkins said there would be a special focus on Maori and Pacific Island communities in South Auckland, with pop-up units due to move around schools, churches and like, to test even asymptomatic people.
The 10,000-a-day target will also include routine tests of managed isolation/quarantine residents, border works and people with symptoms.
To put this target in context, 4,434 tests were completed yesterday.
National and NZ First want Health Select Committee reconvened
Hipkins avoided voicing a view on whether the Health Select Committee should be reconvened to enable MPs to quiz ministers and public servants like Bloomfield. Hipkins said it was a matter for the committee to deal with.
New Zealand First moments earlier said it was joining National in calling for the committee to be reconvened in light of the Government’s alert level decision yesterday.
“The decision to delay the General Election and reconvene the House reinforces this government’s commitment to the crucial role parliament plays in holding the executive to account,” New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said.
“It is therefore logical for the Health Select Committee to meet to canvass the advice of the Director-General of Health and other senior officials pertaining to the Alert Level decisions taken by Cabinet on 24 August.
“Given the economic and health consequences of the Cabinet’s decision it is appropriate for the accountability function to be performed while parliament is sitting.”
The latest from the Ministry of Health
There are seven new confirmed cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today. All are related to the community cluster in Auckland.
There are no new imported cases.
Of the seven community cases, two are linked to a church in Auckland. Two are household contacts.
This brings our total number of confirmed cases to 1,339, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.
One previously reported case is now considered recovered.
The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 129, of which 19 are imported cases from managed isolation facilities.
By this morning, our contact tracing team had identified 2,446 close contacts of cases, of which 2,390 have been contacted and are self-isolating, and we are in the process of contacting the rest.
If you are called by our contact tracers, please take or return the call.
There are 160 people linked to the cluster who have been moved into the Auckland quarantine facility. This includes 89 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their household contacts.
There are 8 people receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19 and all of these are part of the Auckland community cluster.
There are two patients in Auckland City Hospital, both are stable and in isolation on a ward. One patient has been discharged from hospital to the Jet Park quarantine facility in the past 24 hours.
There are two patients in North Shore Hospital, one is stable in isolation on a ward, connected to the community cluster; one is critical in ICU, a community case still under investigation by ARPHS.
There are four patients with COVID-19 in Middlemore Hospital. Two are stable and each of these is in isolation on a ward. Two are in ICU and are critical.
These are the same four patients previously reported and are all part of the community cluster.
Hospitals in Auckland continue to manage COVID-19 patients using appropriate infection prevention and control protocols ensuring hospitals remain safe for patients, visitors and staff.
An additional person remains in Waikato Hospital, hospitalised not as a direct result of COVID-19.
Laboratories completed 4,434 tests yesterday, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 701,504.
People who have symptoms of COVID-19, or who are concerned about potential exposure, should continue to seek advice from their GP or Healthline on getting a test.
NZ COVID Tracer
There are now more than 1,810,200 people registered to use the NZ COVID Tracer app – this is nearly 45% of the population aged 15 and over.
We have been really encouraged to see the uptake of the app – it is great that New Zealanders are clearly aware of the importance of keeping a record of their movements. These recent cases have shown us that the ability to be able to quickly trace and isolate contacts of cases is key to stamping out this virus.
There have been well over a million scans every day for the past 7 days.
There are now 318,278 QR codes that have been created.
The number of QR codes being created has reduced significantly over the last three days, indicating that almost all New Zealand businesses now have their QR codes in place.