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COVID-19 Response Update

11 new cases in the community and testing rates need to stay high over the weekend

Tēnā anō koutou katoa e ngā kākā tarahae o te iwi, nei a mihi whakamiha ka rere atu ki a koutou katoa. As we head into another weekend, it’s important we keep up the good mahi from the past few weeks. We can’t afford to be complacent; Delta’s shown us that if you give it an inch, it’ll take a mile. So, have a collective responsibility to maintain the gains we’ve made since the outbreak started, nā tō rourou, nā tōku rourou, ka ora ai te iwi, through your contribution and mine, our people will thrive. I know this weekend will be harder for our whānau in Tāmaki Makaurau who are still under Alert Level 4 restrictions and my whakaaro continue to be with you. If you feel at any point you aren’t coping, please reach out. Support is available to you and your whānau to help with all your needs. Ka mutu, severe weather warnings have been issued throughout the motu, nā reira, ahakoa kei hea koe, no matter where you are in the country, please stay safe. 11 new community cases in Aotearoa

  • There are 11 new cases of COVID-19 in the community to announce today. All of these are in the Tāmaki Makaurau region.

  • This brings the total number of community cases associated with this outbreak to 879, with 862 in Tāmaki Makaurau and 17 in Pōneke.

  • Of these community cases, 288 are now deemed to have recovered, giving us an active total of 591.

  • The total number of unlinked cases currently sits at 29, six of which are from today’s new cases. We will continue working with our public health units to investigate any unlinked cases and as this mahi continues, the total amount of unlinked cases will decrease.

  • Analysis of yesterday’s 13 community cases show all of these were contacts of other cases, and 12 were household contacts. We also know just one case was infectious in the community which is encouraging.

  • There are 27 people in Tāmaki Makaurau hospitals right now. Of these, four are in ICU and all of them require ventilation.

COVID-19 vaccination update

  • Our COVID-19 vaccination rollout continues at pace with 61,574 vaccinations administered yesterday.

  • Of these 46,070 were first doses and 15,504 were second doses. This means 66% of eligible New Zealanders have received one dose, and 33% have received their second dose.

  • For the Māori roll-out, more than 255,000 Māori have received their first dose and over 123,000 are fully vaccinated.

  • With just over one in five Māori fully vaccinated, it’s evident we still have some way to go.

  • Nā reira, please continue to encourage your friends and whānau to book in for their vaccinations as soon as possible. It’s safe and free. You can do this online or by calling 0800 28 29 26.

  • Again, I want to reassure you that we have enough vaccinations in the country to vaccinate all eligible New Zealanders at pace.

  • I also want to mihi to all our kaimahi in the DHBs and our Māori health providers for the work you’ve been doing to increase vaccination rates amongst Māori communities. Your dedication to our people has been an exemplar for the wider sector and you should all be proud of your mahi.

Testing rates need to remain high over the weekend

  • Yesterday, there were 14,181 tests processed across the motu, and of these, 7,974 swabs were taken across the Tāmaki Makaurau region.

  • Maintain high testing rates over the weekend is critical because it gives us reassurance and confidence that there isn’t widespread community transmission or leakages of the virus out of Tāmaki Makaurau.

  • Nā reira, the key message for today remains the same, if you have any COVID-19 symptoms(especially if you live Tāmaki Makaurau) please call Healthline or your health provider and ask about getting tested. There are plenty of testing sites available around the country. You can check out the Healthpoint website to find a site near you.

  • Thanks again to everyone who has gotten a test this week. Thanks also to our kaimahi working hard on the frontline to test New Zealanders. E mihi ana ki a koutou katoa.

  • We are widening the scope of surveillance testing. As part of that, invitations have been sent out to multiple employers of essential workers across Tāmaki Makaurau encouraging their kaimahi to be tested. Work is also underway to set up testing sites closer to the Tāmaki Makaurau boundary to ensure testing is as easy as possible for people crossing the Tāmaki Makaurau boundary.

  • Finally, last month we commenced the national roll-out of saliva testing in our border workforce and this morning we hit a milestone with our 1000th worker opting in for saliva testing. This is great news, and we are continuing to make this option more widely available, including for other essential workers. I’ll make sure to inform you of any further updates.

_____________ Please remind your friends and whānau to get information on COVID-19 and the vaccine from our trusted sources – the Ministry of Health website, Unite Against COVID channels, Karawhiua channels, and the Te Puni Kōkiri ‘COVID-19 Information for Māori’ portal. For guidance on protecting yourself and your whānau from COVID-19 misinformation and scams, please visit the Unite Against COVID website. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or my team at maorihealth@health.govt.nz Mā te Atua tātou e manaaki i roto i ngā āhuatanga o te wā, Nāhaku me aku mihi aroha, Nā John Whaanga Deputy Director-General | Māori Health Directorate