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Covid-19: 53 new cases, all in Auckland

All of today's cases are in Auckland. Photo: RNZ.

There are 53 new cases of Covid-19 in the New Zealand community today.

All 53 cases are in Auckland, says a statement from the Ministry of Health.

This brings the total number of active cases in the community outbreak to 562.

The total number of community cases in Auckland is now 547 and in Wellington it is 15.  

"There are 522 cases that have been clearly epidemiologically-linked to another case or sub-cluster, and a further 42 for which links are yet to be fully established.

"There are currently seven epidemiologically-linked subclusters identified within this outbreak. The two largest clusters are the Birkdale Social Network cluster  (79 confirmed cases), and the Mangere church cluster (280 confirmed cases)."

Of the current community cases, 37 cases are in hospital – 32 are in a stable condition on a ward and five cases are in a stable condition in ICU.

Two cases are in North Shore Hospital, 20 are in Middlemore Hospital, 14 are in Auckland City Hospital, and one is in Wellington Regional Hospital.

"There are appropriate isolation and infection prevention and control plans in place at all hospitals where these patients are being managed," says an MOH spokesperson.

"In addition to two recovered community cases in Auckland, one other case in a MIQ facility has now also recovered.

"Therefore, the total number of active cases being managed in New Zealand is currently 603."

There is one new case and one historical case of COVID-19 in recent returnees in managed isolation facilities.

The border-related case is in a person who arrived on a direct flight from Qatar on August 25. They tested positive on day three of their routine testing and are in a managed isolation facility in Auckland.

The historical case arrived on 25 August and tested positive at day 0. They are currently at a quarantine facility in Auckland, says the MOH.

"The full travel history has now been confirmed for case one reported in yesterday’s statement – they travelled from Sri Lanka, via Auckland."

Since January 1, there have been 125 historical cases, out of a total of 1345 cases.

The total number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic is 3163.

Amberlea Home and Hospital Care Facility (Algie’s Bay)

A mobile testing site remains at Amberlea today for testing of residents and staff.

Testing

"Testing nationwide remains an essential part of our response to this outbreak, in particular providing confidence for understanding the extent of any spread of Covid-19.

"Our advice remains the same - wherever you are in the country, if you were at a location of interest, at the specified times, or have cold and flu symptoms, please call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on testing."

By calling Healthline, people who have been at locations of interest at relevant times are logged into the contact tracing system, says the MOH

"This means their swab can be tracked and processed faster by the laboratories.

"Information on the Ministry’s Locations of Interest page also includes advice for contacts on how they should be keeping themselves safe, depending on the location they visited."

Yesterday, 16,370 tests were processed across New Zealand.

Testing centres in Auckland had another busy day yesterday with around 15,000 swabs taken across Auckland, with around 10,500 at community testing centres and around 4,500 at general practice and urgent care clinics.

There are 26 community testing centres available for testing across Auckland today, this includes 4 invitation-only testing centres for high-risk groups and to prioritise essential health care workers, 6 regular community testing centres and 16 pop-up testing centres.

"The community testing centres at Wiri and Balmoral are operating extended hours this week and will stay open until 8pm to supplement existing testing in Urgent Care Clinics.

"To speed up the process for our staff at testing centres it is helpful to bring your NHI number with you. You can find your NHI number on a hospital letter or prescription. Or call 0800 855 066 to find out yours."

For up-to-date information on all testing locations, please visit the Healthpoint website.

The total number of Covid-19 tests processed by laboratories to date is 2,967,673.

The seven-day rolling average is 34,260.

Whole Genome Sequencing

ESR has now run whole genome sequencing on samples taken from around 345 community cases, says the MOH.

Analysis of these samples has determined they are all genomically linked to the current outbreak.

Wastewater

Last week, ESR conducted testing of wastewater samples on behalf of the New Zealand Defence Force.

In total, twelve samples were submitted by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) to ESR (via Watercare and Protec Consulting).

Four samples were received last Monday (23 August), two samples received last Tuesday (24 August), and six samples received last Thursday (26 August).

Covid-19 was detected in a sample from Fort Takapuna, on Auckland’s North Shore sampled on 23 August, says the MOH.

The virus was not detected in the other 10 samples tested for NZDF.

Crowne Plaza update

Negative day 12 test results have now been received for all six people who were in the Crowne Plaza lobby at the same time as the earliest identified case.

Contact tracing

As of 9am today, 34,120 individual contacts have been identified and around 87 per cent have had a test.

The percentage of people who’ve had a test will continue to fluctuate as the total number of contacts continues to change.

Locations of interest

Additional locations of interest continue to be identified. As at 8am today, there were 444 locations of interest.

"Please remember to regularly check the Ministry’s website. Locations are being automatically updated on a two-hourly basis between 8am and 8pm.

"If you have been to a location of interest during the relevant time, follow the advice on the website which will tell you whether you need to  self-isolate and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on testing, or whether you just need to watch for symptoms.

"However, anyone who develops symptoms whether or not they have been at a listed location of interest, should ring Healthline for advice on testing."

Covid-19 vaccine update

Yesterday 47,897 vaccines were administered. Of these 36,476 were first doses and 11,421 were second doses. This is a record for a Sunday.

More than 3.33 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered to date (to 11.59pm on 29 August).

Of these, 2.17 million are first doses and more than 1.16 million are second doses.

More than 197,000 Mâori have received their first vaccination. Of these, more than 104,000 have also had their second vaccinations.

More than 128,000 doses have been administered to Pacific peoples. Of these, more than 71,000 have also received their second doses.

NZ Covid Tracer

NZ Covid Tracer now has 3,107,179 registered users.

Poster scans have reached 332,782,478 and users have created 14,807,161 manual diary entries.

There have been 568,784 scans in the 24 hours to midday yesterday; thanks to all those people who are scanning regularly when they are visiting essential services.

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