Delta outbreak tops 5000, mandates from Monday
The 201 new Covid community cases reported on Friday took the number of cases in the current outbreak over the 5000 mark - to 5196.
The Ministry of Health reported in the Friday update that a wastewater sample from Taupō has tested positive for Covid. On Saturday morning the ministry reported that a person has tested positive for Covid-19 in Taupō.
From Monday, most of the health and education workforce will need to be vaccinated or face losing their jobs.
Small groups of health professionals and teachers, along with four midwives lost a bid in the High Court to stop the mandate requiring them to be vaccinated by Monday.
St George's Maternity Hospital in Christchurch will not be accepting women who have birthed elsewhere for postnatal care, because of a midwife shortage resulting from the Covid vaccine mandate.
The Education Ministry does not know how many teachers will be lost when the vaccine mandate comes in on Monday, but rural schools are worried they will be unable to staff classrooms.
It took a tip-off from a member of the public for health authorities to find a group who eventually tested positive for Covid in Taranaki. Once they were identified, it took days to convince them to be tested, Taranaki DHB medical officer of Health Dr Jonathan Jarman says.
Royal NZ College of General Practitioners medical director Bryan Betty is advising people to plan for Covid in their homes, as it's likely the virus will spread quickly once the Auckland border opens. People needed to have enough basics to last the 14-day self-isolation period, he said.
University of Otago epidemiologist Dr Amanda Kvalsvig has cautioned against setting a hard date for dissolving the boundary around Auckland. Covid should not be allowed to spread around the country until everyone who wanted to be vaccinated had been, she said.
The nurses' union has warned there could be more deaths as the home isolation system grows quickly, but Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said the system was not overwhelmed with patients.
The NZ Nurses Organisation said staffing levels at hospitals across Auckland were putting patient care at risk, and is also concerned at the pressure on community nurses to care for the increasing number of Covid patients in home isolation.
Ministry of Health data shows 90 per cent of New Zealanders over the age of 12 have had their first dose of the Covid vaccine. Eight per cent have had their second dose, while 83 per cent have either had the second jab , or are booked to have it.
Among Māori, nearly 76 per cent of those eligible have had their first dose, and 59 per cent their second dose. For Pacific peoples, the figures are 87 per cent and 74 per cent.
Data from Johns Hopkins University shows more than 252 million confirmed Covid cases worldwide, and more than 5.08 million deaths.
In the past 28 days, the US has recorded more than 2m cases and 36,371 Covid deaths. The UK has nearly 1.14m cases and 4324 deaths, while Russia has 1.03m cases and 30,597 deaths.
What should I do?
Anyone who wants to get tested can find their local testing centres by visiting the Ministry of Health website.
Quarantine-free travel from Australia has been suspended. More information can be found here.
Auckland and parts of Waikato are in is in step 2 of a three-part “roadmap” out of lockdown. Here’s what people in these regions can and can’t do.
Upper Northland has returned to alert level 2 after a period in level 3.
The rest of the country remains at alert level 2, with masks mandatory for people over the age of 12 when accessing essential services such as supermarkets.
A list of exemptions around mask use can be found here.
People should use the Covid-19 tracer app. Some helpful tips on using the Covid tracer app can be found here.
If you are sick, call your GP before you visit, or Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
To avoid contracting and spreading the virus, wash your hands properly, cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow and throw tissues away immediately.
Reach out, find support from people who care, connect with your community or help a neighbour in need.