New Covid-19 community cases jumps to 45, Dr Ashley Bloomfield explains why

There are 45 new Covid cases in the community today, including 12 unlinked 'mystery' cases.

Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said it was the largest number of cases we'd had in some time.

A total of 33 are household or close contacts of existing cases and weren't infectious in community.

"In some sense they were expected," Bloomfield said.

Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today's number of cases was "sobering" put many were linked to existing cases.

"We do expect from time to time there will blips."

One person who had attended Waitakere Hospital on Saturday September 25 had returned a positive test yesterday. Some staff had been stood down and a small number of patients were being followed up, Bloomfield said.

Twelve of today's 45 cases were currently unlinked but for six of those, some links were visible

Some were working in essential businesses during their infectious period.

Bloomfield made a call to employers to encourage their staff to get vaccinated.

He said it was essential to know what we were dealing with and thanked those who had been tested over the last few weeks.

Surveillance testing is being extended in Auckland in multiple industries like construction and retail, which operate in alert level 3, which will identify any chains of transmission

There are 21 community testing centres open in Auckland so no one should be waiting very long for a swab.

Surveillance testing is not mandatory, Bloomfield said.

It is also not required to isolate after a test without symptoms.

Four hundred people had been tested in the Tauranga area after a positive wastewater test result was announced yesterday.

Bloomfield urged the people in Tauranga and the rest of the motu to be vaccinated. "Go for it".

Hipkins said 78 per cent of the eligible population had had their first vaccine jab.

In the last seven days, 200,000 people had had their second dose - bringing the total across NZ to 1.8 million people.

Hipkins said there would be a peak of second dose demand in the second week of October.

At midnight tomorrow, all border workers who might come into contact with Covid will have to be vaccinated

Hipkins said it gave them more security for their own health and not passing the virus on to others.

He was incredibly proud of the work of border staff, saying 98 per cent had been vaccinated with one dose and 93 per cent had had two. That included 95 per cent of port workers.

Hipkins said Cabinet has signed off the funding for a new MIQ facility in Christchurch.

He cited the complexities of standing up a new MIQ facility but was glad to add another 85 rooms to the system.

Case visited Waitakere Hospital

One person who had attended Waitakere Hospital on Saturday September 25 had returned a positive test yesterday. Some staff had been stood down and a small number of patients were being followed up, Bloomfield said.

Twelve of today's 45 cases were currently unlinked but for six of those, some links were visible

Some were working in essential businesses during their infectious period.

Bloomfield made a call to employers to encourage their staff to get vaccinated.

He said it was essential to know what we were dealing with and thanked those who had been tested over the last few weeks.

Surveillance testing is being extended in Auckland in multiple industries like construction and retail, which operate in alert level 3, which will identify any chains of transmission

There are 21 community testing centres open in Auckland so no one should be waiting very long for a swab.

Surveillance testing is not mandatory, Bloomfield said.

It is also not required to isolate after a test without symptoms.

Four hundred people had been tested in the Tauranga area after a positive wastewater test result was announced yesterday.

Bloomfield urged the people in Tauranga and the rest of the motu to be vaccinated. "Go for it".

Hipkins said 78 per cent of the eligible population had had their first vaccine jab.

In the last seven days, 200,000 people had had their second dose - bringing the total across NZ to 1.8 million people.

Hipkins said there would be a peak of second dose demand in the second week of October.

At midnight tomorrow, all border workers who might come into contact with Covid will have to be vaccinated

Hipkins said it gave them more security for their own health and not passing the virus on to others.

He was incredibly proud of the work of border staff, saying 98 per cent had been vaccinated with one dose and 93 per cent had had two. That included 95 per cent of port workers.

Hipkins said Cabinet has signed off the funding for a new MIQ facility in Christchurch.

He cited the complexities of standing up a new MIQ facility but was glad to add another 85 rooms to the system.

Covid case visited Auckland shopping centre on Monday

It has emerged today that a person infected with Covid-19 was at an Auckland shopping complex two days ago.

The Ministry of Health has revealed one location of interest - a person with the virus was at Kelston Mall in West Auckland on Monday afternoon for half an hour.

The affected time is between 2pm and 2.30pm.

The mall has a number of businesses within it, including a Countdown supermarket, a petrol station, cafe and a nearby McDonald's restaurant.

A woman walks past the Grand Millennium MIQ hotel in Auckland. Photo / Michael Craig

Today's update comes after the last few days have seen the number of community cases in Auckland starting to drop each day.

Eight new people were identified as community cases in yesterday's update. The day before, 12 community cases were announced and on Monday, 18 community cases were revealed.

All of yesterday's cases were in the Auckland region - including four people in Upper Hauraki who have tested positive for the virus but who are in the same household.

A total of 965 people in Auckland caught up in the outbreak have since recovered, as have all 17 people who came down with the virus in Wellington.

Fourteen people with Covid-19 are getting treatment in hospitals around the city - two people at North Shore Hospital, six at Auckland City Hospital and six at Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland.

Of those patients, three people are being cared for in intensive care units or high dependency units.

Four Covid cases were also identified at the border in recent arrivals carrying out their mandatory 14-day managed isolation period. One of those people, a traveller from Cambodia via Singapore, is considered a historical case.

Vehicles turn up to a vaccination drive-thru at the Ranui Pacific Islanders Presbyterian Church in West Auckland today. Photo / Alex Burton

Locations of interest

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has not released any new locations of interest since Monday, when only one place linked to an infected person was announced.

That was the 77 Convenience Store at 103 Victoria St West, in the Auckland CBD opposite the Sky Tower.

The shop is connected to a person who was in the vicinity of it for six hours between 1pm and 7pm on Thursday, September 16.

The infected person is not a staff member, the shop's management has confirmed.

For more information visit covid19.govt.nz.

This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.