August 22, 2021
Ministry of Health media release: 21 additional community cases of COVID-19; 3 new cases in managed isolation facilities
Media release: 21 additional community cases of COVID-19; 3 new cases in managed isolation facilities
22 August 2021
There are 21 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 72.
All cases have or are being transferred safely to a managed isolation facility, under strict infection prevention and control procedures, including the use of full PPE.
Of the 21 new cases, 20 are in Auckland and one is in Wellington â€“ this case was previously reported publicly yesterday but has officially been added to the total case numbers today.
Wellington’s number of community cases remains at six.
Of the 72 cases, 61 cases are now confirmed as part of the Auckland cluster, with the remaining 11 under investigation to confirm linkage to the outbreak. Initial assessment shows in most cases there is a link.
ESR continues to run whole genome sequencing on samples taken from all new cases to support ongoing investigations into the outbreak. ESR has completed sequencing for 17 of these cases, including the three Wellington cases reported yesterday, and found all have genome links to the Auckland cluster.
There are three new cases in recent returnees in a managed isolation facility.
New cases identified at the border
Arrival date From Via Positive test day/reason Managed isolation/quarantine location
6 August Full travel history to be confirmed Full travel history to be confirmed Day 13 / routine Auckland
17 August Malaysia Singapore Day 3 / routine Christchurch
18 August * Singapore Full travel history to be confirmed Day 2 / routine Auckland
* This case is a contact of a previously reported case from Friday.
One previously reported case has now recovered. The total number of active cases being managed in New Zealand is currently 116.
Since 1 January 2021, there have been 123 historical cases, out of a total of 842 cases.
Our total number of confirmed cases is 2,660.
Yesterday, 38,389 tests were processed across New Zealand.
As testing numbers remain high, we wish to thank everyone for getting a test and those working at the testing centres.
Centres in Auckland had another busy day yesterday with just over 20,000 swabs taken across Auckland. Almost 9,000 were taken at community testing centres and around 11,000 taken at general practice and urgent care clinics.
There are 15 community testing centresâ€¯available for testing across Auckland this afternoon, including a new site at Pukekohe opening at 2pm.
There are also four testing centres which are invitation only for close contacts of high risk groups.
In Wellington, around 4,033 tests were processed yesterday with 11 community testing centres operational over the weekend.
Those who have been to a location of interest or have symptoms should call Healthline for advice on testing, and referral to a testing centre to make a booking. Everyone who needs a test will get tested, but bookings are strongly advised to avoid long wait times.
For up-to-date information on all testing locations, please visit www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19/.
It is so important that anyone awaiting a test result or who is a close contact should be self-isolating and not leaving the house for any reason, until they receive a negative test result or until they’re cleared by public health staff.
This also extends to other trips out. Please don’t go the pharmacy, supermarket or make any other stops in public while waiting for your test result. If you find yourself in this situation, arrange for someone in your bubble or another friend or relative to pick up supplies.
The total number of COVID-19 tests processed by laboratories to date is 2,692,087
The seven-day rolling average is 18,907.
ESR is today reporting wastewater detections in Auckland and Wellington.
COVID-19 was detected in wastewater taken from a sample from Moa Point in Wellington again yesterday. Samples taken from other sites in Wellington at Porirua, Seaview and Karori were negative.
There continues to be COVID-19 detected in wastewater in the Auckland region based on samples which were taken on Friday. This includes the eastern and western catchments for the city. The virus was NOT detected on the North Shore â€“ from either Rosedale and Albany â€“ for the first time this week.
ESR continues to test wastewater at 41 sites across the country, covering 3.7 million New Zealanders. Of the 41 current sites, 13 are in Auckland and four are in Wellington.
There were no unexpected detections anywhere else in the country â€“ based on samples collected on Friday and Saturday.
Public health staff across New Zealand continue to contact trace, with focus on higher risk locations.
The number of contacts has increased significantly. This is something we expected as we identify more cases and test in large numbers.
As of 9am today, 8,667 individual contacts have been identified â€“ and this number will increase throughout the day, as records are fully processed.
The majority of these contacts are close contacts.
Of these contacts, 4,124 have been contacted and are self-isolating, and a third have had a test.
Work is underway to contact the remaining 4500 contacts. Most of these contacts were identified yesterday as a result of case investigations into settings with high numbers of people involved (e.g. schools).
Locations of interest
From today, locations of interest will be updated automatically on a 2-hourly basis. Of course, any significant or urgent locations of interest will be published as required.
As the list continues to grow, we have launched a new online search feature to make it easier for people to check the locations of interest.
As this was a significant change to the locations of interest table, the ‘last updated’ date has reset to today’s date. As we moved to the automated system, we have picked up some locations prior to 7 August and are working to remove these with updates expected later today.
Several of the new cases announced today are linked to a service at the Samoan Assembly of God Church in Mangere, Auckland, on Sunday (15 August).
Anyone at this church on Sunday between 9am and 3pm is asked to isolate for 14 days since their last day of exposure and get tested on days 5 and 12 after their last exposure.
Face coverings are an important part of our defence against COVID-19.
We encourage you to wear a face covering (especially if it is difficult to maintain physical distance from others) and keep two metres distance from others when leaving your home .
You legally must wear a face covering:
- on public transport and flights
- if you are a customer or an employee involving customer contact at an Alert Level 4 business or service, such as a pharmacy, supermarket or petrol station.
Section 70 Notices
A Section 70 notice remains in place which puts a legal requirement on all people who were at locations of interest at the relevant times to follow the instructions regarding isolation and testing. It is also very important that essential workers regularly check the locations of interest so they can isolate immediately and get tested if they have been at any of these locations at the relevant times.
There is also a Section 70 notice that applies to household members of those who have been at locations of interest or have been categorised as a close contact. These household members are required to isolate until the contact has returned a negative day-five test result. Household members are not required to be tested unless they develop symptoms.
The requirements of this second notice do not apply to people who are required to provide an essential health service as long as they are vaccinated, the household member who visited the location of interest has had a negative result, and no one in the house has symptoms.
COVID-19 vaccine update
Yesterday, we administered 52,106 doses nationally. This was made up of 36,478 first doses, and 15,628 second doses.
More than 2.75 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to date (to 11.59pm on 21 August).
Of these, 1.75 million are first doses and just under 1 million are second doses.
More than 153,000 MÃ¢ori have received their first vaccination. Of these, more than 91,000 have also had their second vaccinations.
More than 101,000 doses have been administered to Pacific peoples. Of these, more than 62,000 have also received their second doses.
NZ COVID Tracer
NZ COVID Tracer now has 2,994,598 registered users.
Poster scans have reached 327,455,412 and users have created 13,718,569 manual diary entries.
There have been 558,680 scans in the 24 hours to midday yesterday.
If you do have to leave your bubble to go to the service station, supermarket or pharmacy, please do continue to use the app and scan in. During the past week we’ve seen the important of this and the difference it makes for contact tracing staff in the fight against COVID-19.
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