Seven new community cases of Covid-19 today

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Image: RNZ.

There are seven new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today – all of which are linked to the Auckland cluster.

Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield says there are no new imported cases.

Two of the seven cases are linked to a church in Auckland, and the other two are household contacts.

There are currently 129 active cases in New Zealand and 2446 close contacts associated with the cluster.

The total number of confirmed cases in New Zealand is 1339.

Ashley says there are currently eight people with Covid-19 receiving hospital level care – three of those are in critical condition in ICU.

More than 1.8 million people have registered to use the COVID tracer app.

Labs processed 4444 tests yesterday, Ashley says.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins says the Covid-19 defence systems have gone into overdrive over the past two weeks.

He says nearly a quarter of all the testing done for Covid-19 this year has taken place in the past two weeks.

A new target of an additional 70,000 tests across the country is in place for the next seven days, he says.

"It's challenging to keep up this pace but it is doable."

South Auckland communities will be a specific target of community testing, he says, with 70 percent of these tests to be in Auckland.

Six more mobile testing units to be added in the area. The units will be active for two to three days at a time before moving to a different location, he says.

Hipkins says DHBs are reporting testing fatigue, with testing numbers dropping below 5000 yesterday. He urges New Zealanders to keep getting tested.

He says 80 percent of contacts traced are being contacted within 48 hours, meeting the "gold standard" level for contact tracing the government aims to meet.

The current Covid-19 restrictions were extended yesterday, and masks will be mandatory on public transport for level 2 and above, starting on Monday.

Yesterday there were nine new cases of Covid-19, the cases are made up of eight confirmed cases, and one probable case.

Eight of the cases are in the community, and have been epidemiologically linked to the Auckland cluster.

Ashley says one case has been linked to bus travel, one at a church, two in a workplace and four are household contacts of confirmed cases.

The other case is in a managed isolation facility and was picked up in routine testing on day 12.

The imported case is a woman in her 30s and information about her travel is not yet available.

There are currently 132 active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, with 19 of these being imported cases.

These cases bring the total number of confirmed cases in New Zealand to 1,332.

The total number of probable cases is now 351, and the combined total of confirmed and probable cases is now 1,683.

Ashley says there are 10 people in hospital with Covid-19 and two people in intensive care.

There have been 151 people who are linked to the Auckland cluster moved to quarantine facilities.

- Additional reporting RNZ 

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