LIVE: 71 new Covid cases in Auckland

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson.

UPDATED: There are no positive cases of Covid-19 in Waikato and Northland today but there are 71 new cases in Auckland.

This brings the total number of cases in the current outbreak to 1790 with 1189 recovered.

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay says today’s case numbers are sobering but not unexpected.

She encourages people to get tested if they are feeling unwell and to get vaccinated if they haven’t already.

Dr McElnay says testing, vaccinations wearing a mask and washing your hands often are the best tools in this outbreak.  

Of today’s cases, 32 are yet to be linked to current cases but those people are being interviewed today says Dr McElnay.

Of yesterday's cases 21 remain unlinked.

Dr McElnay says there has been a great response from people in Waikato and Northland for testing and vaccinations.

There are 33 people in hospital with Covid-19 with five in ICU or HDU. All but one of these are in Auckland, the other case is in Palmerston North.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson says the growing number of cases in Auckland are expected and foreshadowed but they are climbing more quickly.

He says the Ministry of Health and Public Health advice around alert levels has not changed.

There are very few cases from transmission in the community and workplaces, says Robertson.

He says cases are mainly from household contacts, health care settings and a large number in gatherings inside peoples' homes.

"We did see this happening in alert level 4 as well, and sadly it has continued into alert level 3.

"These gatherings inside peoples' homes are not allowed in alert level 3 as much as they were not allowed in alert level 4.

"My message today is clear: We need people in Auckland to stick to the alert level 3 rules."

New Zealand’s Alert Level 3 is among the toughest level of restrictions in the world, says Robertson.  

“Now is not the time for complacency.”

For people in Auckland please get vaccinated, 87 per cent of people in Auckland have had their first done and 66 per cent have had their second, says Robertson. This needs to be at 90 per cent, he says.

“We need people to follow the rules. Stay in their bubbles.”

Wear a mask, don’t mix with family and friends unless it’s in a safe outdoor setting, he says.

“Get vaccinated, it’s the best tool to protect against the virus.”

Vaccination will ensure the country can move down alert levels, says Robertson.

He commends Air New Zealand for their efforts for Super Saturday, they are turning a Boeing Dreamliner into a vaccination clinic at the Auckland Airport.

People getting vaccinated will be able to get inflight snacks and a special commemorative boarding pass.

EARLIER: Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson and Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay will update the media today at 1pm. 

The pair will be live from Wellington.

Yesterday, it was announced that parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 and Northland will remain in Alert Level 3, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says.

This follows the 55 new cases in the community today, with 53 of these in Auckland and two in the Waikato, bringing the total number of cases in the current community outbreak to 1719.

There are also 32 people in hospital with Covid-19 and 6 are in ICU or HDU units.

Auckland still remains at Alert Level 3, Step 1.

“Based on the latest public health information, ministers have decided that maintaining the status quo in Northland and parts of the Waikato is the safest course of action,” says Hipkins.

“This will be reviewed by Cabinet on Monday, October 18."

Tune in above for the latest information on the current Covid-19 outbreak.

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