22 Aug 2021

Covid-19 update: 21 new community cases reported in New Zealand today

8:30 pm on 22 August 2021

There have been 21 new community cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand today - 20 in Auckland and one in Wellington.

POOL - Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins, left, and Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield during their Covid-19 and vaccines update at Parliament, Wellington, on day 5 of the alert level 4 lockdown  22 August, 2021  NZ Herald photograph by Mark Mitchell

Photo: Pool / NZME

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield and Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins have given the latest Covid-19 update this afternoon.

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There were also three new cases in managed isolation.

Dr Bloomfield said there were now a total of 72 cases associated with the Auckland outbreak.

The Wellington case was first reported yesterday but is included in the national tally today. There are now six confirmed cases in Wellington.

Dr Bloomfield said there are 8677 contacts that have been formally identified and virtually all of those are considered 'close contacts'.

"The number of contacts has increased significantly, something we had expected as we identify more cases and locations of interest. As of 9am this morning, 8667 individual contacts had been formally identified and we expect that will continue to increase through the day as further records are fully processed.

"From today, contacts who are self-isolating can choose to send their daily health and wellbeing information via an electronic survey, that is email, rather than phone call daily. These people are all initially contacted by phone and if they opt to go for email welfare checks they can do so, which helps free up capacity in our contact tracing teams and further speed up the process," Bloomfield said.

POOL - Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield during the Covid-19 and vaccines update at Parliament, Wellington, on Day 5 of the Covid-19 Alert level 4 lockdown.  22 August, 2021  NZ Herald photograph by Mark Mitchell

Photo: Pool / NZME

Dr Bloomfield said several new cases are linked to a service at the Samoan Assembly of God church last Sunday. Those who attended and who have not yet been tested are being asked to.

From today new locations of interest will be published on the Ministry of Health website every two hours. Significant or urgent locations will be published immediately.

ESR is now testing wastewater from 14 sites.

There have been positive results in Auckland and Wellington. The positive result in Wellington was from Moa Point and other Wellington locations were negative.

Hipkins said yesterday was a record day for weekend vaccinations with more than 50,000 doses administered.

Hipkins said more than a million NZers were now vaccinated and 73 percent of New Zealanders over the age of 40 are either vaccinated or booked in to get the jab.

Another 382,500 doses of the Pfizer Vaccine will arrive in New Zealand tomorrow, Hipkins said.

The government has agreed to put a scheme back in place to ensure essential workers will be have access to free childcare, Hipkins said.

The Ministry of Education is working with 32 different providers across the country and they will be made available for contact today. The scheme will be available for emergency services, border workers and others who have to go to work in Level 4.

Dr Bloomfield said the health system had "excellent" PPE stocks to deal with this outbreak, with national PPE supply chain holding 18 million n95 masks, 285 million medical masks, 18 million isolation gowns, 1.6 million face shields and 280 million nitrile gloves.

Yesterday, 21 new community cases of Covid-19 were announced.

Meanwhile, a staff member at Pukekohe High School has tested positive for Covid-19 meaning seven Auckland schools now have confirmed cases linked to them. The other five schools are: Western Springs College, Avondale College, Northcote College, Lynfield College, McAuley High School and De La Salle College.

After being halted at the start of lockdown, the vaccine rollout is moving up a gear with 56,843 vaccines administered yesterday - the most in a single day.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said 72 percent of NZers aged 40+ are either booked or have been vaccinated with at least one dose.

A drive through mass-vaccination centre is open today in Auckland to make up for appointments pushed out due to the alert level 4 lockdown. The centre, set up at the park and ride site at Auckland Airport, will be open for a week and is expected to immunise 2000 people a day.

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