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Number of cases of Covid-19 in the community rises to 44; 12 of these cases are unlinked; virus remains contained to Auckland and Waikato

Number of cases of Covid-19 in the community rises to 44; 12 of these cases are unlinked; virus remains contained to Auckland and Waikato

Update: Northland has been moved up to Level 3 after an "uncooperative" unvaccinated Aucklander entered the province on fraudulent papers, mover around extensively for four days, and then returned to Auckland. The Police are "assisting". The new L3 status will be reviewed in four days.

The number of cases of Covid-19 in the community has risen to 44 - including 41 in Auckland and three in Waikato. 

Of these cases, 20 are household contacts, 12 are known contacts and 12 contacts remain unlinked.

Director of Public Health Caroline McElnay said the high number was "not unexpected because there have been a number of contacts of new cases and we can expect to get fluctuations from day to day".

There is no press conference today. The next press conference is scheduled for Monday, when there will be an update on alert level settings.

Here is the latest from the Ministry of Health:

Number of new community cases 44
Number of new cases identified at the border Three
Location of new community cases Auckland (41) Waikato (3)
Location of community cases (total) Auckland 1,450 (1,068 of whom have recovered); Waikato 25; Wellington 17 (all of whom have recovered)
Number of community cases (total) 1,492 (in current community outbreak)
Cases infectious in the community   17 of yesterday’s 29 cases have exposure events
Cases in isolation throughout the period they were infectious   12 of yesterday’s 29 cases
Cases epidemiologically linked 32 of today’s 44 cases
Cases to be epidemiologically linked 12 of today’s 44 cases.  
Cases epidemiologically linked (total) 1,444 (in the current cluster) (26 unlinked from the past 14 days)
Number of sub-clusters 16 epidemiologically linked subclusters. Of these, six are active, one is contained and nine are dormant. There are 14 epidemiologically unlinked subclusters. Of these, five are active, none are contained and nine are dormant.
Cases in hospital 25 (total): North Shore (2); Middlemore (12); Auckland (10); Waikato Base Hospital (1)
Cases in ICU or HDU Five
Confirmed cases (total) 4,169 since pandemic began
Historical cases, since 1 Jan 2021 (total) 166 out of 2,353 since 1 Jan 2021
Number of active contacts being managed (total): 1,749
Percentage who have received an outbound call from contact tracers (to confirm testing and isolation requirements) 77%
Percentage with at least one test result 74%
Locations of interest  
Locations of interest (total) 206 (as at 10am 8 October)
Number of tests (total) 3,543,083
Number of tests total (last 24 hours) 29,925
Tests processed in Auckland (last 24 hours) 10,439
Tests rolling average (last 7 days) 20,797
Testing centres in Auckland 22
Wastewater detections No unexpected detections in the last 24 hours
COVID-19 vaccine update  
Vaccines administered to date (total) 5,621,078; 1st doses: 3,400,749; 2nd doses: 2,220,329
Vaccines administered yesterday (total) 82,303; 1st doses: 19,705; 2nd doses: 62,598
Māori 1st doses: 336,832; 2nd doses: 198,104
Pacific Peoples 1st doses: 214,878; 2nd doses: 136,202
Vaccines administered to Auckland residents to date (total) 2,044,163: 1st doses: 1,226,962 (86%); 2nd doses: 817,201 (57%)
Vaccines administered to Auckland residents yesterday (total) 26,277: 1st doses: 4,638; 2nd doses: 21,639
NZ COVID-19 tracer  
Registered users (total) 3,281,845
Poster scans (total) 414,678,519
Manual diary entries (total) 17,799,538
Poster scans in 24 hours to midday yesterday 2,539,723

More from the Ministry of Health:

Waikato update

The three new cases in Waikato are all linked and contacts of existing cases. Interviews are continuing to determine any further contacts or locations of interest.  

There continues to be a strong response to calls for testing in Waikato with 5,180 swabs taken yesterday. There are seven pop up testing sites operating today at Claudelands, Te Rapa, Karapiro, Raglan, Huntly, Kawhia and Tokoroa, with extended hours to cater for demand. The existing testing centre at Founders Theatre is also open.

Further details on exact locations and hours of testing sites are available on the Healthpoint and Waikato DHB sites.

The Ministry of Health urges anyone in the Waikato with any symptoms that could be COVID-19 to get a test.

Waikato turned out in record numbers yesterday to get vaccinated with 10,397 doses given, with large increases seen in rural areas. This equates to a 4 per cent increase in first doses across the Waikato in one day. 77% of people in the Waikato have now received their first dose and 52% are fully vaccinated. A big thank you to everyone who came forward.

Alert levels for the whole of the Waikato will be reviewed again on Monday.

Update on Auckland case who travelled to Northland

The case reported last night, who recently travelled to Northland, was last night transferred to an Auckland quarantine facility, under strict infection prevention and control procedures, including the use of full PPE.

The case was under investigation after returning a weak positive result from a test in Whangarei earlier this week and yesterday returned a positive test result in Auckland.

Public health staff are continuing investigations to identify whether there are any locations of interest or exposure events associated with the case.

In some instances, a location of interest may not be listed on our website. This doesn’t mean no actions have been taken around tracing the movements of a case. The focus of publishing locations of interest is on locations where contact tracers don’t have a good idea of who was there at the relevant time, like bars and supermarkets.  

For some locations of interest, like personal appointments, we have a good understanding of who was there at the relevant time and an effective means of contacting those people via existing communication channels and networks. These situations are closely managed by contact tracers, who may determine that the location does not need to be added to the list published online.  

Contact tracers are often dealing with people who are stressed and some people can find it difficult to recall where they’ve been, when they are under pressure.  

Locations of interest are added to the Ministry’s website as quickly as possible. We ask people to check these regularly, especially if you have visited, or live in Auckland, Waikato or Northland.    

Northland testing centres

There are four testing centres operating in the Northland region. These are at Kaitaia Hospital; 1 Sammaree Place in Kerikeri, Dargaville Hospital; 20 Winger Crescent in Kamo; and Pohe Island in Whangarei.

Possible exposure event at Middlemore Hospital  

Counties Manukau DHB has advised the Ministry of Health of two possible COVID-19 exposure events at Middlemore Hospital, both from the same patient.

On Monday 4 October the patient presented to the Emergency Department for a non-COVID related issue where they stayed until they were assessed and discharged. They answered no to all screening questions and were asymptomatic.

The patient again presented to ED on Thursday, 7 October.

Following discussion with medical staff, the patient was isolated, tested and moved to a negative pressure room. They subsequently returned a positive result.

Although asymptomatic on their first visit (Monday, 4 October) ARPHS has determined that their infectious period encompasses this date and as such are acting out of an abundance of caution in identifying potential contacts.  

As of this morning 42 patients and 18 visitors have been identified as contacts.

No staff are required to stand down as they were wearing the appropriate PPE. While there have been a number of exposure events at Middlemore, this is not unexpected as there are a number of subclusters in South Auckland, for which Middlemore is the local hospital.  

Testing and vaccinations

The two best tools we have in the continued fight against COVID-19 are testing and vaccinations – the numbers for both continue to be high.  

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay says the 29,925 tests processed nationwide yesterday will help inform public health officials about any undetected community spread.

“However, it is more important than ever that we keep testing, especially over the weekend. The Ministry of Health urges anyone who has symptoms, no matter how mild, to please get tested.”  

Dr McElnay also thanked everyone who’s stepped up to be vaccinated this week.  

“Being vaccinated with two doses is the best way to protect yourself, your whānau and the wider community. We’ve seen people rolling up their sleeves in record numbers again, with each day’s total higher than the previous day.  

“Yesterday, our total doses administered of 82,303 ranks in the top 10 highest daily totals since the programme began and is the highest daily figure since 3 September, and total doses administered to Māori was a record high of 10,145. I want to acknowledge the efforts of Māori providers and communities to support people to access vaccination.

“The number of second doses administered yesterday – 62,598 – was also the highest ever second dose daily figure. The more fully vaccinated people in the community, the safer we all are – and there is now more than 51% of the eligible population who have received two doses,” she said.  

Travel from Auckland

We have heard reports that people are being turned away from Auckland airport due to not having a test result or their result being too old.  

People leaving Auckland for personal reasons are reminded they must have acceptable evidence of a permitted reason to cross the alert level boundary and have evidence of a negative test within the last 72 hours.

Further details are available on the Unite Against COVID website.  

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