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Covid-19: 74 new cases, Waikato restrictions ease

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. Photo. RNZ.

There are 74 new community cases of Covid-19 being reported today, and restrictions in Waikato will begin to ease from midnight tonight.

Of today’s cases, 68 are in Auckland and six in Waikato with 43 of these cases being linked.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield are currently providing an update on the Covid-19 outbreak and response at 1pm today.

Minister Hipkins has announced that people currently in alert level 3 in the Waikato region will be allowed to meet for outdoor gatherings between two households, with a maximum of 10 people.

Face-to-face medical appointments are set to restart and early learning centres can also get back to functioning, with 10 children between bubbles.

Recreational activities have been extended to include golf, boating, hunting, fishing and scuba-diving, again with a maximum of 10 people involved.

Hipkins says it is the same stepdown setting as recently seen in Auckland.

The boundary between Auckland and Waikato will remain in place.

“Most people will not be permitted to travel,” says Hipkins.

All six of today’s new Waikato cases are from Hamilton. All are known contacts of existing cases including one that was already in the quarantine facility.   

Waikato DHB is continuing to encourage regionwide testing, to rule out any undetected community spread.

Testing locations in and around Waikato are available on the Healthpoint website and the Waikato DHB website. Dedicated testing sites are operating at Te Awamutu, Ôtorohanga, Whatawhata, Hamilton, and Tokoroa.

Yesterday across the Waikato region there were 1,860 swabs taken and 3,611 vaccinations given.

Auckland high schools could resume classes as soon as mid-November, Hipkins says.

Hipkins says the indicative date for years nine and 10 to return to high schools is November 15.

More work however needs to be done on the school return before that date is finalised.

Year groups may end up attending on different days to keep numbers down whilst outdoor learning, when appropriate, is also being viewed as an option.  

Changes to the MIQ system in New Zealand, initially expected to be announced today, will actually be announced tomorrow instead.  

On vaccines, New Zealand hit the three million mark today regarding those who are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Hipkins says that of the 2759 people infected in the current Covid-19 outbreak, just seven fully vaccinated patients have been hospitalised, a statistic he calls “staggering”.

“The best thing you can do to stay out of hospital is get vaccinated.”

Cases

 

Number of new community cases

74

Number of new cases identified at the border

Four (one new and three historical cases)

Location of new community cases

Auckland (68), Waikato (6)

Location of community cases (total)

Auckland 2,710 (1,506 of whom have recovered); Waikato 97 (27 of whom have recovered); Wellington 17 (all of whom have recovered); Northland 7 (all active cases); Nelson/Marlborough 1 (active case)

Number of community cases (total) *

2,832 (in current community outbreak)

Cases infectious in the community**

25 of 74 cases yesterday have exposure events

Cases in isolation throughout the period they were infectious **

49 of 74 cases yesterday have no exposure events

Cases epidemiologically linked

43 of today’s 74 cases

Cases to be epidemiologically linked

31 of today’s 74 cases

Cases epidemiologically linked (total)

2,486 (in the current cluster) (269 unlinked from the past 14 days)

Cases in hospital

41 (total, up from 37 yesterday): Waitemata (9); Middlemore (16); Auckland (16)
Average age of current hospitalisations: 43 years old

Cases in ICU or HDU

Five

Confirmed cases (total) *

5,539 since pandemic began

Historical cases

177 out of 3,725 since 1 Jan 2021

Contacts

 

Number of active contacts being managed (total):

2,776

Percentage who have received an outbound call from contact tracers (to confirm testing and isolation requirements)

79%

Percentage with at least one test result

76%

Locations of interest

 

Locations of interest (total)

390 (as at 10am 27 October)

Tests

 

Number of tests (total)

3,979,577

Number of tests total (last 24 hours)

17,536

Tests processed in Auckland (last 24 hours)

13,578

Tests rolling average (last 7 days)

23,322

Testing centres in Auckland

20

Wastewater

 

Wastewater detections

No unexpected detections

COVID-19 vaccine update

 

Vaccines administered to date (total)

6,676,800; 1st doses: 3,657,970 (87%); 2nd doses: 3,018,830 (72%)

Vaccines administered yesterday (total)

42,136 1st doses: 10,872; 2nd doses: 31,264

Mâori

1st doses: 397,304 (70%); 2nd doses: 281,609 (49%)

Pacific Peoples

1st doses: 239,171 (83%); 2nd doses: 186,999 (65%)

Vaccines administered to Auckland residents to date (total)

2,408,739; 1st doses: 1,296,687 (90%); 2nd doses: 1,112,052 (78%)

Vaccines administered to Auckland residents yesterday (total)

12,639: 1st doses: 2,855; 2nd doses: 9,784

NZ COVID Tracer

 

Registered users (total)

3,323,504

Poster scans (total)

458,315,093

Manual diary entries (total)

19,029,605

Poster scans in 24 hours to midday yesterday

2,089,943

Northland update

There are no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 to report in Northland, with cases in the region, associated with this outbreak, remaining at seven.

However, people living in Northland are urged to remain vigilant and get tested if they have any symptoms that could be COVID-19.

Testing and vaccination clinic locations across the region are available on the Northland DHB website

Yesterday there were 933 COVID-19 tests completed in Northland and 1,383 vaccinations – 544 first doses and 839 second doses.

Auckland update

Auckland public health officials have reviewed the suburbs of concern and are urging residents in Redvale, Rosedale, New Lynn, Wiri, Drury, Manurewa and Henderson to get tested as soon as possible if they have even very mild symptoms that might be COVID-19, even if they are fully vaccinated.

This testing will help to provide assurance that any undetected spread of COVID-19 in these communities is identified as quickly as possible.

Bayswater is no longer a specific area of concern however residents should remain vigilant and get tested if they experience even mild symptoms.

Testing is also available at GP and Urgent Care clinics, the locations of these can be found on the Healthpoint website.

In Auckland, public health officials are now supporting 562 COVID-19 cases and close contacts in the community, across 216 households, to safely isolate at home.   

Blenheim update

Public health staff are continuing to work with the person with COVID-19 who is isolating in Blenheim. Household members at this address have returned negative test results.

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UK

Posted on 27-10-2021 13:46 | By

Very interesting article in the Telegraph about how the UK is approaching “endemic equilibrium” as cases fall. Expected to “plummet” in the coming weeks as the “children’s epidemic” concludes. One expert said restrictions have no value when you have as much immunity as you are going to get and you need to build natural immunity. He suggested after vaccines and a couple of natural infections it will be like a common cold or asymptomatic. I do worry that New Zealand is keeping vaccinated people locked up whilst we wait for a small number of naysayers to get jabbed. Our immunity is dropping each day! It serves no purpose trying to “stamp it out” in a vaccinated population. In fact, it’s counter productive. Remove the internal borders, loosen restrictions and let it go. Nothing to be frightened of.