Covid-19 Delta outbreak: 125 cases on eve of Auckland alert level change

There are 125 Covid-19 cases in the community today, the Ministry of Health says.

There are 117 in Auckland, 6 in Northland and 2 in Waikato. There are 79 people with Covid in hospital, all of which in Auckland. A slim majority of today’s cases (66) have been epidemiologically linked to the Delta outbreak, 59 are yet to be linked. There are 695 unlinked cases from the past 14 days.

Just over half (40) of Covid patients in hospital are unvaccinated or not eligible, 25 people are partially vaccinated and 10 cases are fully vaccinated. The remaining four cases are unknown.

There are nine people with the virus in intensive care of high dependency units – up from seven yesterday. The average age of these patients remains at 51.

Testing has been carried out for residents and staff of the Rosaria Rest Home in the Auckland suburb of Avondale after one resident tested positive for Covid-19. All results received for other residents and staff are currently negative, with four further tests results expected later today.

How transmission had occurred in the privately-owned facility hadn’t been established. Auckland public health officials were assisting facility management to reduce any risk of further transmission.

It comes as no further staff or residents at the Covid-struck Edmonton Meadows Care Home in Henderson have tested positive for the virus. As stated yesterday, 20 residents and four staff have contracted Covid-19. Seven of the Covid-positive residents are receiving care in Auckland hospitals.

The Ministry has highlighted the same six suburbs of interest as yesterday – Ranui, Sunnyvale, Kelston, Birkdale, Manurewa and Māngere. It is understood the risk of unidentified cases is higher in these areas.

There are 1199 people with the virus isolating at home across Auckland. Including household contacts, a total of 2353 Aucklanders are isolating across 934 households.

Two previously reported community cases in Auckland have been re-allocated to Northland DHB.

All of Northland’s six cases are isolating at home. Five of these cases were announced yesterday, the additional case is a contact of a previous case.

The 6-week-old baby reported yesterday as being hospitalised in Whangārei has now been discharged.

A person with Covid-19 was hospitalised at Whangārei Hospital for observation overnight. The person was a previously reported case who had been isolating home. They have since been discharged home and will continue to self-isolate.

Residents who live in and around Taipa, Kaingaroa, Awanui, Kaitaia and Kaikohe who have had any symptoms of Covid-19 in the last two weeks are again being urged to get tested as soon as possible.

The upper area of Northland, which has been in alert level 3 for a week, is expected to move to level 2 on from 11:59pm Thursday.

The two new Waikato cases both reside in Hamilton.

One case was already in isolation as a known contact of another positive case. Public health officials are investigating links for the remaining case today.

Forty-nine of 185 cases reported yesterday were infectious in the community, while the remaining 136 were in isolation during their infectious period.

Two of yesterday’s border-related cases on board a vessel which recently arrived in Bluff have been classified as historical and pose no further risk to crew or port workers.

On vaccination levels, 89 per cent of Kiwis have had their first dose and 79 per cent are fully vaccinated.

For Māori, 75 per cent are partially vaccinated and 58 per cent have had both doses. For Pasifika, the rates are significantly higher, at 87 per cent and 73 per cent respectively.

A total of 6337 vaccinations were administered in Auckland yesterday – 1428 first doses and 4909 second doses.

Meanwhile, staff and children at a Te Atatu childcare centre are isolating after a teacher and her child tested positive for Covid.

Best Start Te Atatu was notified about the staff member’s positive test result yesterday morning and started notifying parents immediately.

Deputy chief executive Fiona Hughes said as a result one of the buildings at the centre was closed and six staff and seven children were isolating.

The other building is not closed as the staff there have not been identified as close contacts.

The staff member’s husband had Covid so she had been isolating at home since Friday and prior to testing positive.

Hughes said the centre had followed public health advice and the facility was being deep cleaned.

Auckland moves to 3.2 at midnight

Auckland’s move to alert level 3.2 from midnight comes as the city recorded its second highest day of cases since the outbreak started, with 182 of yesterday’s 190 cases in Auckland. The highest number of daily cases so far was reached on Sunday with 206 cases.

The number of people with Covid in hospital also increased yesterday to 81 including seven in ICU or HDU.

The Auckland suburbs of most concern because the risk of unidentified cases was higher included Ranui, Sunnyvale, Kelston, Birkdale, Manurewa and Māngere.

There were also 2238 people isolating at home in Auckland including  838  people with Covid in 698 households.

From 11.59pm tonight Auckland retailers will be allowed to open their doors for the first time in more than three months and outdoor gatherings can extend to up to 25 people from multiple bubbles.

Northland will also change alert levels this week – moving from alert level 3 to alert level 2 at 11.59pm on Thursday. Despite an additional Northland case emerging yesterday, Cabinet had been assured by the Ministry of Health that it could be managed by contact tracers.

Waikato remains in alert level 3.2 for a second week with its settings being reviewed next Monday. It recorded seven new cases in the region yesterday.

The easing of restrictions in Auckland and Northland comes as the first one-way quarantine-free flight from the Pacific nations is due to lands in Auckland within hours.

The first flight arrives from Tonga at 7.45pm tonight, followed by one from Samoa on November 13 and another from Vanuatu on November 20.

Despite Auckland and Waikato both being in level 3.2 from tomorrow, the border separating the two regions will remain in place to manage the spread, Health Minister Andrew Little told Newstalk ZB this morning.

The Government is also set to make an announcement tomorrow on when schools will re-open with Little saying it would be a managed roll-out over the next few weeks. Junior high school students are set to be the next ones to return so they can prepare for exams.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she will give a firm date on when Aucklanders will be able to leave the city next week. Ardern has confirmed they will be able to leave the city of sails for Christmas following backlash last week in which people were concerned they would be trapped or have to enter a lottery of sorts to get an allocated time slot for when they could cross the border.

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