Friday 10 September, 1pm
All of today’s cases are in Auckland. Outbreak total now at 879.
Health Director General Dr Ashley Bloomfield gave the 1pm update with Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson.
So far, 288 cases in the cluster are recovered.
The number of unlinked cases is now at 29, and this includes 6 cases from today, Bloomfield said.
All 13 cases announced yesterday are contacts of other cases. 12 are household contacts and just one was infectious in the community.
Bloomfield said finding direct epidemiological links between cases could take time, especially when the likelihood of exposure to the virus was minimal, and when there were no clear links between cases or exposure vents.
Officials continued to prioritise investigating a small number of unlinked cases, including the two cases recently identified when they presented to Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital, he said.
Locations of interest
Several new locations of interest are being published today as part of the “source investigation” into two cases, Bloomfield said.
These cases are not the two individuals who were identified when they came into Middlemore Hospital. The cases are from the same household but have small genomic differences from other cases they are associated with.
Officials are trying to rule out any possible missing transmission links, and individuals between the two cases, Bloomfield said.
One of the locations of interest is the Crowne Plaza vaccination center. The genomic sequence of the case that has created the vaccination centre as a “place of interest” is linked to the community outbreak. The date of the potential exposure event is August 23.
Bloomfield said the last traveller quarantining at MIQ left the Crowne Plaza on August 21, “so it is not related to the people who were in the Crowne Plaza at all”.
The locations of interest can be found here on the Ministry of Health website.
People who visited these locations of interest at the relevant time should get tested immediately, even if they don’t have symptoms. These people are not required to self-isolate unless they have symptoms.
27 people are in hospital, all in Auckland. Four are in intensive care, and all are on ventilators, Bloomfield said.
14,181 swabs were processed yesterday, 7974 in Auckland.
“This continues to give us confidence about the outbreak and whether or not it is controlled,” Bloomfield said.
“This weekend is critical we get high testing numbers, so anyone who is symptomatic, particularly in Tāmaki Makaurau, please do go and get a test.”
There are also 6 new cases in recent returnees in MIQ, and two historical cases at the border.