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Covid-19: One new community case reported in New Zealand

There has been just one new case of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand today, the Health Ministry has confirmed.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said the new case had an epidemiological link to an existing case and was associated with the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship bereavement events group.

"There are a number of inter-related cases and contacts who may have been involved with both the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship sub-cluster, and the bereavement sub-cluster."

The ministry said there are 33 cases in the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship group and 13 cases in the bereavement sub-cluster.

"Church leaders are actively encouraging all members of the congregation to be retested, and at 8am this morning our laboratories had registered new tests for 82 per cent of the congregation. We want to thank them for their participation in contributing to our efforts to control the wider Auckland cluster.

"We ask that the privacy of people who are part of the Fellowship be respected - nobody asks for Covid-19 to come into their home, workplace, or place of worship."

After warnings that some church groups are facing a battle to deter the spread of false information on Covid-19 among their communities, Minister of Health Chris Hipkins yesterday asked people to "think twice before sharing information that can't be verified".

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said this morning it was a worry that misinformation is spreading but, by and large, people are doing the right thing. He told Morning Report prosecution is at the end of the line, but shouldn't be ruled out for people who knowingly break the rules or spread misinformation.

The ministry said there were now 70 people linked to the community cluster at the Auckland quarantine facility, including 55 people who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

There are three people in hospital with Covid-19. One is on a ward in Auckland City Hospital and two are in ICU, at North Shore and Waikato hospitals.

With seven recovered cases in the past day, New Zealand's total number of active cases is 114, including 39 imported cases and 75 community cases.

The total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 is now 1442.

Yesterday 8953 tests were processed in New Zealand.

Four new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand were reported yesterday two linked to the Auckland August cluster and two imported.

Meanwhile, development of a Covid-19 vaccine is still making strong headway despite a serious illness that led to a hold on a leading late-stage trial, experts say.