There are 45 new local cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand’s Delta community outbreak, as Auckland begins its seventh week in lockdown.
COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield gave the update at a press conference this morning.
That brings the total number of cases in the wider outbreak to 1230, and is the largest number of new daily cases in some time – just eight cases were reported yesterday.
“More important, we found these cases because people have come forward.”
Twelve are unlinked and interviews are under way. There are already potential links visible for six of these.
Given Auckland is at alert level 3, some of these people may have been working in essential or permitted businesses during their infectious period.
Dr Bloomfield said this emphasises the importance of everyone in Auckland continuing to abide by level 3 measures, including mask-wearing, and staying in your bubble.
He called for employers to “actively support” staff who aren’t yet vaccinated to go get the jab today.
In the past 14 days, there have been 15 cases yet to be linked to the outbreak.
There continue to be 15 epidemiologically linked sub-clusters. Three are active, eight are contained and four are dormant.
There are a further 10 sub-clusters which have not yet been linked to the cluster, none of which are currently active.
There are 16 people with COVID-19 in hospitals across the Auckland region, as of today.
Three of these people are in intensive care or high dependency care units.
Mr Hipkins said the government said from the beginning of this outbreak the nature of cases is more important than the number.
He said this is a “sobering number”, but a significant portion are known or household contacts.
This is in line with the wider outbreak, which is concentrated in larger households, and officials expect there to be “blips” from time to time, he said.
“We’ve still got to hold our nerve here,” Mr Hipkins said.
A number of today’s cases were picked up through day five or day 12 tests of people who were already in isolation, Dr Bloomfield said.
Some of these cases are in groups of people in transitional or emergency housing, he said.