There have been 23 new cases of Covid-19 in the community reported in New Zealand today, more than double the amount reported yesterday.
There was no media conference today. In a statement, Ministry of Health said some volatility in the case numbers was likely at this stage as "we expect some changes in the numbers as day 5 and day 12 tests for contacts of cases are due, and we do further investigations of any new unlinked cases".
"This does serve as a strong reminder of the importance of following the Covid-19 alert level rules wherever you are, and to get tested if you have any symptoms or have been at a location of interest at the specified times."
Yesterday, there were 11 cases reported in the community.
All of today's cases were in Auckland and 14 of them have been epidemiologically linked to previous cases.
There are now 19 people in hospital, with four in ICU or HDU.
The total number of cases linked to the community outbreak is now 902.
There was also one new case reported at the border today.
There have now been a total of 3534 cases of the coronavirus in New Zealand since the pandemic started.
In other news today, an MIQ worker at the Holiday Inn facility in Auckland has tested positive for Covid-19 during routine testing, and more than a dozen new Covid-19 locations of interest have been added to the list today.
As well, epidemiologist Michael Baker has warned that health officials will be reluctant to move Auckland down alert levels next week if the country records many more unexplained cases.
Baker said the case increase today isn't too much of a concern because the overall trend is still downwards.
But he said officials will be looking out for further unexpected cases.
"That would suggest that there are chains of transmission out there that are still carrying on that we haven't fully extinguished at alert level four."
Auckland is doing a remarkable job of stamping out a Delta variant outbreak - but the goal now is to stamp it out as fast as possible, he said.
Baker says Aucklanders have brought the 'r value' of the current Covid-19 outbreak to an estimated 0.4.
That's the average number of people infected for every new case - and it needs to be below one for the number of infections to fall.