20 Sep 2021

Covid-19: 22 new community cases as government to decide on alert levels

1:52 pm on 20 September 2021

There are 22 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.

Ministry of Health generic

Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

In a statement, the ministry said there was also one new case at the border - from the United Kingdom. The cases arrived on 10 September via United Arab Emirates and is now in a quarantine facility in Auckland.

Three of the new cases are in Whakatīwai but are being counted in the Auckland total, the ministry said.

That brings the total number of community cases in the current outbreak to 1071. There are 1051 in Auckland (677 of whom have recovered) and 17 in Wellington (all of whom have recovered).

The ministry said 17 of today's 22 new community cases have been epidemiologically linked. Five are yet to be linked.

"Of the five unlinked cases today; three are from one household; the other two are being interviewed.

"Of the 22 new cases today, 10 were already in quarantine when they were tested."

In total, 1039 cases in the current cluster have been epidemiologically linked (12 unlinked from the past fortnight).

There are 10 epidemiologically linked subclusters. Of these, two are active, seven are contained and one is dormant.

The new one is associated to two households in South Auckland, the ministry said.

The ministry said there are also 10 epidemiologically unlinked subclusters. Of these, two are active, three are contained and five are dormant.

There are 16 cases in hospital today - One in North Shore, five in Auckland and 10 in Middlemore. Four are in ICU or HDU.

As of 10am this morning, there are 141 locations of interest.

There are 1289 active contacts being managed - 85 percent of them have received a call from contact tracers.

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began is 3725.

There have also been a total of 151 out of 1908 historical cases since 1 January 2021.

In the last 24 hours, 8084 Covid-19 tests have been processed. The total number of tests to date is 3,240,635.

Update on the SO/Auckland Hotel MIQ worker

The ministry said after further investigation, including retesting, the positive Covid-19 test result returned by the SO Hotel MIQ facility worker last week has been determined to be a false positive.

"The individual has been notified and will be able to be released from the quarantine facility today.

"As a result, the net increase in community cases today is 21."

Seven suburbs of interest

Testing in the seven suburbs is continuing with 946 tests taken yesterday across Mt Eden, Massey, Māngere, Favona, Papatoetoe, Ōtara and Manurewa, the ministry said.

"The Ministry has asked people in these areas, both with symptoms and without, to get tested to help rule out undetected community transmission. Today we are asking in particular for anyone living in Clover Park, on the south east side of Papatoetoe, to please get tested."

The ministry said there has been a good community turn out for testing in Kaiaua this morning. By 11am today, 150 swabs had been taking. The Waikato DHB has reported wait times of about 30 minutes.

Wastewater testing

Following confirmation of the three cases in northern Hauraki, ESR is currently sampling from Kawakawa Bay and Pukekohe, the ministry said. Samples are being collected from three sites in the region.

"In addition, new samples are being collected from Cambridge, Ngatea, and Paeroa. Results are expected later in the week."

Vaccine update

Yesterday, 26,673 Covid vaccines were administered - 14,145 were first doses and 12,528 were second doses. That brings the total number of vaccines administered to date to 4,711,410 - 3,092,737 are first doses and 1,618,673 are second doses.

Yesterday 24 cases of Covid-19 were reported by the ministry.

And last night three household members of a remand prisoner with Covid-19 tested positive for the virus in Waikato.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will announce any alert level changes at 4pm from Parliament.

Today is Auckland's 33rd day in lockdown since level 4 was declared at 11.59pm on 17 August.

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