Sunday 29 August, 1pm

Today there are 83 new community cases. Our total number of cases is 511. 

82 of the new cases are in Auckland and one is in Wellington. The Wellington case was a close contact of an existing case and wasn’t infectious in the community. 

There are 2 new cases in MIQ from recent travel. 

There are 34 people in hospital, 2 of these are in intensive care. 

Yesterday, there were 23,139 tests carried out nationally. 

Whole genome sequencing has been completed on 343 samples. They are all linked to the current outbreak.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said wastewater testing around the country has shown no unexpected results. 

More than three quarters of our cases reported yesterday were household contacts. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this shows how infectious Delta is. Only two cases were infectious before level 4 restrictions. 

The Prime Minister said that transmission had occurred between staff at four workplaces operating as essential services. “We’re looking at this in more detail. If we need to tighten up our restrictions further we will,” she said.

There are 475 locations of interest. Residence Mount Terrace Apartments in central Auckland and new times for Northcote College and AUT have been added to the list. See the full details on the Ministry of Health’s website here. Some locations have dropped off the list due to being no longer relevant. Locations are removed after 18 days. 

Ardern said there were two particular sites linked to a large number of cases, the Assembly of God church in Māngere and AUT, which has been linked to 20 cases.

“This is a difficult location to contact trace,” said Ardern. She encouraged people connected to AUT to look up the locations of interest and follow the guidance from the Ministry of Health.

Support services

“Having positive cases in our communities along with the impact of lockdowns can be hugely unsettling, and that uncertainty can impact on everyone’s mental health,” said Ardern. 

The Ministry of Health and Unite Against Covid websites have a list of resources available - these include tools for young people. 

Youthline had a spike in calls this lockdown. The government has boosted funding to Youthline by $275,000 and provided an additional $1m in funding to existing mental health programmes, particularly focused on rangatahi in Auckland and Northland. 

Family violence and sexual violence services are continuing to operate in level 4. If you are not safe at home, you can leave your bubble. 

If you are unable to afford food, call MSD on 0800 559 009 to see you if you are eligible for assistance. If you have trouble accessing food it’s ok for friends and whanau to make contactless food delivery. The Student Volunteer Army has a food delivery service, accessible here

“We are all in this together and support really is just a phone call away,” said Ardern.

Where to get help: 

  • 1737: The nationwide, 24/7 mental health support line. Call or text 1737 to speak to a trained counsellor.
  • Youthline: Free call 0800 376 633, free text 234. Nationwide service focused on supporting young people.
  • For food MSD: phone 0800 559 009
  • Pacific community mental health support: Vaka Tautua phone 0800 OLA LELEI or 0800 652535
  • Suicide Crisis Line: Free call 0508 TAUTOKO or 0508 828 865. Nationwide 24/7 support line operated by experienced counsellors with advanced suicide prevention training. 
  • Family violence information line — call 0800 456 450 to find out about local services or how to help someone near you

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Main image: Mark Mitchell - Pool/Getty Images