Covid 19 Delta outbreak: 98 new cases, Aucklanders flock to cafes and cricket pitches

Health officials have revealed there are 98 new community cases of Delta in the community, as businesses around the country get used to the traffic light system and Aucklanders celebrate their freedom.

Sixty-four of the new cases are in Auckland.

The two new cases two cases recorded in the Hawke’s Bay region were tested outside of the Hawke’s Bay but were permitted to travel there. They have been in isolation within the region and the public health risk is considered to be low, the Ministry of Health said.

Health staff are now supporting 3652 people in Auckland to isolate at home, which includes 908 Covid cases.

All six of the new cases reported in the Bay of plenty are contacts of existing cases, in the Western Bay of Plenty, and one is currently at Tauranga Hospital.

There are also two Covid cases at the border – one from India, who arrived on November 30, and another from Fiji, arriving on November 28.

The ministry also confirmed that hospital cases now totalled 73, including seven people requiring intensive care unit care.

Of the ICU cases, two of these are in Auckland City Hospital, three in Middlemore, one in Waikato and the other in North Shore Hospital.

And health officials have also revealed that Covid-19 has also been detected in taken in Tairawhiti Gisborne on Thursday.

Health officials believe there may be an undetected case within the community as they are not aware of any recovered cases that could be shedding the virus.

Latest vaccination statistics showed that 93 per cent of eligible Kiwis have received a first dose of the vaccine, with 87 per cent fully jabbed.

The ministry said that Auckland metro DHB – including Auckland, Waitemata and Counties Manukau – now had 90 per cent of its Pacific population with one dose of the
Covid-19 vaccine.

A total of 82 per cent were fully vaccinated.

As of earlier today, the Auckland DHB’s Māori population was less than 20 doses short of the 90 per cent first dose milestone, which is expected to be reached later today. Eighty-one per cent of eligible Māori in these DHBs are fully vaccinated.

Yesterday there were 39,263 vaccines administered – including 7352 first doses and 17,389 second doses. There were also 1007 third primary doses and 13,516 booster shots given.

There have been 29,975 tests carried out in the past 24 hours, above the seven-day rolling average of 27,425., and 11,632 tests were carried out in Auckland.

The new case and vaccination stats come as Aucklanders have jumped back into doing many of the things they love after more than 100 days of strict restrictions.

For some that meant getting out last night to enjoy a drink at the bar, while for others it’s meant a return to community cricket games today or the chance to grab breakfast at a favourite cafe.

Yesterday, health officials revealed there were 92 new Covid community cases that day, with 80 being in Auckland, two in Waikato, one in Northland, five in the Bay of Plenty, one in Lakes DHB, one in Nelson-Marlborough and two in Taranaki.

There are now 936 people with Covid in isolation in their homes.

Hospitalisations also dropped from 89 a day earlier to 79 yesterday, with nine in intensive care.

There was also been a new wastewater detection in Gisborne, director of public health Caroline McElnay said yesterday.

She reminded Kiwis to get tested if they have Covid symptoms and to stay isolated until they return a negative test.

87% of target population fully vaxxed

Deputy PM Grant Robertson said the nation heads into the new traffic light system with high vaccination rates: 93 per cent of eligible people have had one dose and 87 per cent have had both doses.

Robertson said the high vaccination rates showed a unified New Zealand, rather than a divided country as some people had tried to portray it.

Almost 90 per cent of double-vaccinated Kiwis also now have their My Vaccine Passes. As of yesterday, 3.25 million passes had been downloaded.

The Government had also sent out 54,500 temporary exemption emails to people who had trouble downloading their passes.

Two more DHBs hit 90% target

Waitematā and Canterbury DHBs are now the third and fourth DHBs to hit 90 per cent double-jabbed with the Pfizer vaccination.

Robertson said of the five DHB regions yet to hit the 90 per cent single-dose mark, Lakes DHB is just 785 doses away, and the West Coast only 284 doses away.

Omicron variant

Robertson said the Government doesn’t at this point have any advice that the Omicron variant would require a new system for managing Covid.

However, if new advice came through that showed it was more serious, officials would act on that, he said.

McElnay said it did appear the Omicron variant is seemingly more infectious but studies were ongoing to see whether it caused more serious illnesses and whether it can infect fully vaccinated people more easily.

Luxon's call for green light in Auckland

Answering calls by National Party leader Christopher Luxon to put Auckland in the green traffic light system, Robertson said the Government had always moved cautiously.

And the “proof is in the pudding” that their actions had worked, given the nation had so far had low infection and death rates, he said.

He rejected criticism that the traffic light system is complicated. However, he understood it was new and people would still be getting used to it.

Robertson said it was possible Auckland could move down to a lesser traffic light level before Christmas, but he couldn’t pre-empt the decision and it would only be known closer to December 13.

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