Thursday August 26: 68 new cases - all in the North Island.

by Peter Newport - Aug 26, 2021

From the Ministry of Health:

There are 68 new cases of COVID-19 in the New Zealand community to confirm today. This brings the total number of cases in the community outbreak to 277. One case reported yesterday has been reclassified as not a case after being confirmed as a false positive.
The total number of community cases in Auckland is now 263 and in Wellington it is 14. The two new Wellington cases are household contacts of a current case and were in isolation during their infectious period.

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.

As previously indicated, it’s not unexpected to see a rise in daily case numbers at this stage. At its peak last year, New Zealand had a daily total of 89 new cases.

There are 154 cases to date which are epi-linked, and a further 123 for which links are yet to be established.

There are currently 6 epidemiologically-linked subclusters identified within this outbreak. The two largest clusters are the Birkdale Social Network cluster associated with Case A (approximately 41 confirmed cases), and a cluster associated with the Mangere church (approximately 117 confirmed cases). The remaining clusters have fewer than 15 people associated with them.

Of these 68 new cases, 49 of these are Pacific peoples, eight are Asian, three are European, three are Māori, and as yet, the ethnicity is unknown of five.

Fifteen of the current community cases are in a stable condition in hospital; there are no cases in ICU. Of these, three are in North Shore Hospital, seven are in Middlemore Hospital, and five are in Auckland City Hospital.
There is one new case in a recent returnee in a managed isolation facility.

New cases identified at the border

Arrival date From   Via   Positive test day/reason   Managed isolation/quarantine location  
23 August Awaiting full travel history Awaiting full travel history Day 1/routine Auckland

The total number of active cases being managed in New Zealand is currently 314.

Since 1 January 2021, there have been 124 historical cases, out of a total of 1,053 cases.

Our total number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic is 2871.

Yesterday, 41,739 tests were processed across New Zealand, another very high number of tests.

Testing nationwide remains a priority in our assessment of spread and in determining the edges of the outbreak.

Testing centres in Auckland had another busy day yesterday with over 20,000 swabs taken across Auckland, with around 7,000 at community testing centres and 13,000 at general practice and urgent care clinics.

There are 23 community testing centres available for testing across Auckland today, this includes 5 invitation-only for high-risk groups and to prioritise essential health care workers. There are 6 regular community testing centres and 12 pop-up testing centres, including a new pop-up at Tuakau in South Auckland.
In Wellington, 3,303 tests were processed yesterday. There are 11 community testing centres operating today, and around 32 GPs open for testing.

All DHBs are continuing to ensure there is good access to testing across the regions.
For up-to-date information on all testing locations, please visit

The total number of COVID-19 tests processed by laboratories to date is 2,854,717.

The seven-day rolling average is 38,626.

Wastewater testing
COVID-19 has been detected in samples collected from the Christchurch catchment on 21 and 23 August following previous negative results. However, there are at least three positive cases in MIQ facilities in Christchurch and these results are consistent with virus shedding from those cases, which we have seen previously. Further samples will be taken from around Christchurch today, with results expected by the end of the week. All other South Island sites are negative.

Further samples are being collected from Warkworth following the previous positive results.

In the Wellington region, COVID-19 has only been detected in samples collected from the Moa Point site in Southern Wellington and is considered to reflect known cases shedding in the catchment.

No new Auckland samples have been analysed since yesterday’s report.

Contact tracing
As of 9am today, over 24,402 individual contacts have been identified and around 71% of these have had a test, reflecting the high levels of testing.

Locations of interest
There are now almost 500 locations of interest listed on the
Ministry’s website. Of the 3 new locations added so far today, one is a rugby game which was pre-lockdown and two locations are supermarkets that were visited by positive cases post-lockdown.

Please remember to regularly check the Ministry’s website. Locations of interest are being updated automatically on a 2-hourly basis. Any significant or urgent locations of interest will be published as required.

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.

COVID-19 vaccine update  
More than 3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to date, another significant milestone.

Of these, 1.94 million are first doses and more than 1.07 million are second doses.

More than 174,000 Māori have received their first vaccination. Of these, more than 98,000 have also had their second vaccinations.

More than 113,000 doses have been administered to Pacific peoples. Of these, more than 66,000 have also received their second doses.

Yesterday 87,972 vaccines were administered. Of these, 61,755 were first doses and 26,217 were second doses. This is the biggest daily total to date, and reflects the huge amount of work across the system.
NZ COVID Tracer now has 3,077,439 registered users.

Poster scans have reached 330,188,428 and users have created 14,320,184 manual diary entries.

There have been 743,324 scans in the 24 hours to midday yesterday.

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