Covid 19 Delta outbreak: 151 new cases of Covid in the community, with one in Canterbury

There are 151 new cases of Covid today – includinga weak positive case in Canterbury and two late cases in Northland – with 83 people in hospital.

Auckland has recorded 140 cases, Waikato six, Bay of Plenty one, Lakes one and Canterbury one. A further two Northland cases have been confirmed after today’s 9am cut-off.

The initial weak-positive result in Christchurch is being further investigated – including a repeat swab being taken. The case recently travelled to the North Island, and is linked to another case in the Lower North Island.

As the case numbers stay in the triple figures, the number of New Zealanders downloading the new My Vaccine pass – the passport for greater hospitality and travel freedoms this summer – has surged past one million.

And 91 per cent of New Zealanders have received their first jab of the vaccine, while 83 per cent have received their second dose.

In total, 12 DHBs have now reached the 90 per cent first-jab mark, the most recent being South Canterbury.

Auckland’s DHBs are inching closer to the overall 90 per cent double-dose mark, with 87 per cent of the eligible population in the three DHBs having received both doses of the vaccine.

There are no further cases today in Wellington, which recorded one case on Friday. A small number of close contacts, including the case’s co-workers, have all returned negative results.

There are 83 people receiving hospital care with five people in ICU. Seventy-nine of the 83 people are in Auckland hospitals, while there is one each in Whangārei, Waikato, Tauranga and Rotorua.

Northland

There are two new cases being reported in Whangārei. Both cases were reported after the 9am cut-off for daily numbers and will be added to the tally tomorrow. Both people are close contacts of existing cases and were already in isolation.

Auckland

There are 140 new cases to report in Auckland.

There are 15 community centres available for testing across Auckland today. The testing centres at Northcote, Balmoral, Pukekohe and Wiri continue to operate extended hours to increase access to testing.

In the last seven days there have been 113,599 community tests at labs across Auckland.  “This is an incredible effort – especially for all frontline testing staff who are out in all weathers and the laboratory teams who are working tirelessly to process these swabs.,” said the Ministry of Health.

Waikato

Of the six cases reported in the Waikato, four are known contacts, leaving two unknown.

The Ministry of Health said that public health staff would investigate the remaining two cases today. Three of the cases were from Hamilton, one from Huntly, and two have been classified as being from Te Kauwhata although this is still being investigated.

Bay of Plenty and Lakes

There is one new case being reported in Tauranga – a contact of a known cluster.

The Ministry said case interviews continued to identify new locations of interest which were being added regularly to health updates.

There is also one new case in Rotorua – a close contact of a known case.

Hawke's Bay

The positive case in Hawke’s Bay announced yesterday was included in case numbers previously announced as the test was taken in Auckland prior to the person leaving and the result returned after the case had departed from Auckland.

The person was relocating from Auckland and advised to isolate in Hawke’s Bay after the positive result was returned.

Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise was notified by the DHB yesterday. She said it was always concerning for the community when there was news like this but the community should be assured that the DHB was prepared.

Wise said people should do everything they could to protect themselves – get tested, sign in, follow all guidelines and get vaccinated.

The Government is forging ahead with plans to reopen Auckland and connect it with the rest of the country with the city moving to the traffic light system “soon after” November 29 and the border coming down (for vaccinated travellers) on December 15.

But Labour’s co-operation agreement partner, the Greens, have taken a different position, declaring it “unsafe” to open the border with vaccination rates in some regions still very low.

Greens co-leader Marama Davidson told TVNZ’s Q&A on Sunday morning she would like the Government to hold off opening the border “until we have equitably high vaccination rates for Māori, and until we have regional health systems that are prepared, and until we have properly tested and refined the traffic light system”.

Davidson said Māori communities started “well behind” in the vaccine rollout because the Māori population is, on average, younger.

She argued they needed the chance to catch up.

“It is time – and we have already seen the evidence very clearly – that our government agencies, our health departments take some responsibility for the longstanding systemic racism that has very clearly been acknowledged by government itself,” Davidson said.

The full vaccination rate for Māori is 20 percentage points behind the general vaccination rate, with 63 per cent having had both doses.

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