There are 160 new community cases of Covid-19 today – a record number of daily infections in the current outbreak.
Of the new cases, 151 are in Auckland, seven are in Waikato, one is in Northland and one is in Canterbury, a statement from the Ministry of Health said.
As at 10am, 65 of today’s cases are linked – including 38 household contacts – and 95 remain under investigation.
Christchurch case tested negative in MIQ
The new Christchurch case recently travelled into New Zealand from overseas, the ministry said.
“They had multiple negative tests in MIQ in Auckland including a Day 12 test, before being released and travelling to Christchurch. They have reported as being full vaccinated.”
On Thursday, they had a further test, which returned a positive result last night. The infected person is self-isolating in Christchurch, awaiting further tests to determine the source of virus and whether it is urgent or historical.
Health officials are urging anyone, especially those in Christchurch, with any symptoms, no matter how mild, to get tested.
Nearly 8000 vaccinations were administered across Canterbury yesterday. More than 90 per cent of the region’s eligible population has now had their first dose, the ministry said.
Contacts of Tonga case travelled to Wellington
Four household contacts have been identified from the person who was reported as testing positive for Covid in Tonga yesterday, after travelling to Tonga from Christchurch on Wednesday, October 27.
The Tonga case returned a negative pre-departure test before leaving New Zealand. They are fully vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.
Their household contacts included two people who remained in Christchurch, and two people who travelled from Christchurch to Wellington on Tuesday, October 26, the ministry said.
All contacts of the Tonga case have been contacted by public health officials and told to self-isolate and get tested.
“The ministry, along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, continues to work with officials in Tonga to confirm the case.”
Seven more rest-home residents infected
The focus in Auckland today remains on testing in areas identified as having higher positivity rates, where the risk of unidentified cases is higher, the ministry said.
Following further testing at Edmonton Meadows retirement village in Henderson, Auckland, an additional seven residents and one staff member have been confirmed as being infected with the virus. This brings the total number of cases at the home to nine, the ministry said.
“It’s important to note there are high levels of vaccination among residents of the home, and all staff are fully vaccinated.”
All staff and residents have been tested and would also receive further testing on day 5 and day 12, officials said.
At this stage, only one positive staff member from the retirement village has been required to stand down.
The retirement village has been operating under alert level 3 guidelines for visitors, meaning people have only been able to visit the village on compassionate grounds, the ministry said.
Public health staff are asking people in the Auckland suburbs of Redvale, Rosedale, New Lynn, Wiri, Drury, Henderson and Manurewa with symptoms to get tested – no matter how mild their symptoms may be. The advice is the same even if people are vaccinated.
There are 16 community testing centres available for testing across Auckland today. For up-to-date information on testing locations in Auckland, visit www.arphs.health.nz/covid19test.
Four of seven Waikato cases unlinked
Of the seven cases in the Waikato, two – both in Kāwhia – were reported in yesterday’s 1pm update but have been added to today’s official case numbers, the ministry said.
Of the five new Waikato cases, three are from Hamilton, one is from the Te Awamutu/Kihikihi area, and one is from Ōtorohanga.
Public health investigations had found links for two Hamilton cases and the Te Awamutu/Kihikihi case. Investigations were continuing today to establish further links for the remaining four, the ministry said.
A pop-up testing centre in Kāwhia is open today until 3pm at Maketu Marae. It will run for the next three days from 11am to 3pm each day.
As well as the permanent testing site in Hamilton, there are five pop-up testing sites operating today in Hamilton, Kāwhia, Ōtorohanga, Whatawhata, and Te Awamutu. Residents were urged to check the DHB website for location details and the Healthpoint website for all other testing providers.
There were 3270 tests processed throughout Waikato yesterday and 3725 vaccinations given.
Four new cases in Northland
In Northland, four new cases had been detected in the past 24 hours, the ministry said.
However, the ministry officially reported only one of these cases, saying “one was recorded in yesterday’s numbers, initially as an Auckland case and subsequently reclassified as a Northland case, and a further two have been reported to the ministry after 9am today”.Those two would be officially added to the tally tomorrow.
The four infected people are in the same household in southern Kaipara. Investigations would continue to determine further details and potential links, the ministry said.
Northland testing stations over the weekend would be available at the following locations:
• Kaitaia Hospital – open until 2pm.
• Kerikeri – 1 Sammaree Place – open until 4pm.
• Ōhaeawai Rugby Clubrooms – open until 5pm.
• Kaiwaka – Three Furlongs Bar & Grill – open until 2pm.
• Whangārei – 20 Winger Crescent – open until 4pm.
Two new Covid cases were detected at the border. One person arrived from the United Kingdom via Singapore on October 26. The other travelled directly from Singapore and landed in New Zealand on October 27.
Both tested positive on their first day at MIQ, the ministry said.
Nationwide, 3,693,489 people (88 per cent of the eligible population) had received their first dose of the Covid vaccine and 3,111,805 people (74 per cent) had had two jabs.
In Auckland, 91 per cent of the eligible population had received at least one dose and 79 per cent had been double-vaccinated. That meant 12,986 Aucklanders still needed to be vaccinated to reach its 90 per cent target.
125 community Covid cases yesterday
Yesterday there was a high case tally, with 125 new cases of Covid-19 in the community, including a case in an Auckland retirement village. Thirty-nine people were in hospital, four of them in ICU.
It was the second-highest daily tally of the outbreak – on Friday October 22, 129 cases were recorded.
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