Saturday 28th: 82 new community cases - two people in ICU

Aug 28, 2021

From the Ministry of Helath:

There are 82 new cases of COVID-19 in the New Zealand community today; all are in Auckland. This brings the total number of cases in the community outbreak to 429.

The total number of community cases in Auckland is now 415 and in Wellington it is 14.  

All of the cases have or are being transferred safely to a quarantine facility, under strict infection prevention and control procedures, including the use of full PPE.

There are 376 cases that have been clearly epidemiologically-linked to another case or sub-cluster, and a further 53 for which links are yet to be fully established.

There are currently seven epidemiologically-linked subclusters identified within this outbreak. The two largest clusters are the Birkdale Social Network cluster associated with Case A (64 confirmed cases), and the Mangere church cluster (197 confirmed cases).

Of these 82 new cases, 62 are Pacific peoples, five are Asian, four are European, two are Māori , one is Middle Eastern/Latin American/African, and the ethnicity of eight is unknown.

Of the current community cases, 25 cases are in hospital – 23 are in a stable condition on a ward and two cases are in a stable condition in ICU. One case is in North Shore Hospital, 11 are in Middlemore Hospital, 12 are in Auckland City Hospital, and one is in Wellington Regional Hospital.

There are appropriate isolation and infection prevention and control plans in place at all hospitals where these patients are being managed.

The total number of active cases being managed in New Zealand is currently 429.

There is one new case in a recent returnee in a managed isolation facility.

New cases identified at the border

Arrival date   From   Positive test day/reason   Managed isolation/
quarantine location  
Full travel history to be confirmed
Full travel history to be confirmed
Day 0/ routine Christchurch

Since 1 January 2021, there have been 124 historical cases, out of a total of 1,205 cases.

Our total number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic is 3,023.

Amberlea Home and Hospital Care Facility (Algie’s Bay)
Following confirmation that a positive case in Warkworth worked two shifts in Amberlea’s dementia ward while unknowingly infectious, all patients in the ward have been tested.

Of the 13 swabs taken, 12 have returned negative results, and the remaining one test is pending and expected today.

Public health officials understand the worker is fully vaccinated and, along with other staff, adhered to strict Alert Level 4 infection, prevention and control protocols, including wearing face coverings and other PPE.

Hospital capacity
Hospitals across the country are safely assessing and treating anyone needing accute hospital care.
It is important that anyone who needs care, for any reason, seeks it – do not delay.

Overall, health system capacity is good across the motu. Hospital occupancy is around 75%, while ICU occupancy is around 58%, as of 27 August.

All health services are operating safely under Alert Level 4 protocols.

Testing nationwide remains an essential part of our response to this outbreak, in particular confidence understanding the extent of any spread of COVID-19.

Our advice remains the same - wherever you are in the country, if you were at a location of interest, at the specified times, or have cold and flu symptoms, please call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on testing.

By calling Healthline, people who have been at locations of interest at relevant times are logged into the contact tracing system. This means their swab can be tracked and processed faster by the laboratories.

Yesterday, 36,418 tests were processed across New Zealand.

Centres in Auckland had another busy day yesterday with around 14,500 swabs taken across Tāmaki Makaurau, with 9,000 at community testing centres and a further 5,500 at general practice and urgent care clinics.

There are 27 community testing centres available across Auckland today – six regular community testing centres and 16 pop-up testing centres, including three new pop-up sites opening today at Ranui, Parakai and Alfriston. There are also five invitation-only sites open for high-risk groups and to prioritise essential health care workers.

Testing centres in Auckland are reporting little or no wait times for testing and all DHBs are ensuring there is good access to testing across the regions.

Several Auckland testing centres are reporting that some people are seeking their Day 12 test early. It is vital that everyone gets tested on the day they are asked to be tested on.  

For up-to-date information on all testing locations, please visit the Healthpoint website.

The total number of COVID-19 tests processed by laboratories to date is 2,928,155.

The seven-day rolling average is 39,208.

Whole Genome Sequencing
ESR has now run whole genome sequencing on samples taken from around 300 community cases. Analysis of these samples has determined they are all genomically linked to the current outbreak.

There are no new unexpected detections to report.

Positive results have been previously reported from Warkworth, Auckland, Wellington at the Moa Point site, and Christchurch, which was consistent with virus shedding from those cases in managed isolation and quarantine facilities there.

Samples collected from Waimakariri at Rangiora and Kaiapoi on Tuesday and Thursday were negative. Further samples from a range of sites in Christchurch are currently being analysed.

Samples from 111 locations have now either been analysed or are currently in the laboratory being analysed. There are 88 locations in the North Island and 33 locations in South Island. These cover an estimated 3.8 million people, and over 90% of the New Zealand population connected to reticulated wastewater systems.

Contact tracing
As of 9am today, 31,757 individual contacts have been identified and 81% have had a test, most others are not yet due for a test.

Locations of interest
Additional locations of interest continue to be identified.

Please remember to regularly check the Ministry’s website. Locations are being updated automatically on a two-hourly basis between 8am and 8pm. Any significant or urgent locations of interest will be published as required.

It is important to note that locations of interest are removed from the website after 18 days.

However, anyone who develops symptoms whether or not they have been at a listed location of interest, should ring Healthline for advice on testing.

Anyone who was at a location of interest at the specified time, is asked to self-isolate and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on testing.

Remember, by calling Healthline for advice on testing, people who have been at locations of interest at relevant times are logged into the contact tracing system. This means their swab can be tracked and processed faster by the laboratories.

COVID-19 vaccine update
Yesterday 89,316 vaccines were administered - the second biggest daily total to date. Of these 65,011 were first doses and 24,305 were second doses.        
More than 3.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to date.  

Of these, 2.1 million are first doses and more than 1.1 million are second doses.

More than 188,776 Māori have received their first vaccination. Of these, more than 102,000 have also had their second vaccinations.

More than 120,000 doses first doses have been administered to Pacific peoples. Of these, more than 69,000 have also received their second doses.

Canterbury vaccine incident
An error at a vaccination centre in the Canterbury DHB area earlier this month means that 13 people may have received a lower dose of the COVID-19 vaccine than intended.

No patient harm would have resulted from this occurrence, but we acknowledge this would be concerning for the people involved.

Twelve of the group have been contacted and are booked in for another dose of the vaccine. A range of methods is being used to contact the remaining person. They are also booked in to receive their second dose.

Incidents of this nature are not common but it is important each is reported and acted on. DHBs and healthcare providers have systems in place to detect them when they do, including clinical oversight and strong quality assurance processes.

The Ministry of Health has worked closely with the vaccination team to support their response to each person affected.

The provider will also be implementing improvements and additional training for staff.

NZ COVID Tracer now has 3,095,642 registered users.

Poster scans have reached 331,605,868 and users have created 14,573,829 manual diary entries.

There have been 732,563 scans in the 24 hours to midday yesterday.; thanks to all those people who are scanning regularly when they are visiting essential services.

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