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COVID-19 Response Update - Tāmaki Makaurau to stay at Alert Level 4 for another week

E rere ana ngā mihi whakamānawa ki a koutou katoa e noho haumaru ana i ngā tōpito katoa o te motu, tēnā rā koutou. Today, Cabinet met to review the Alert Level settings for the country, and the Prime Minister announced these at this afternoon’s stand-up. To ensure we maintain the gains made over the past three weeks, Cabinet has decided to keep Tāmaki Makaurau in Alert Level 4 for an additional week until 11.59pm Tuesday 21 September, at which point Tāmaki Makaurau will shift to Alert Level 3. Cabinet will confirm this decision next Monday. The rest of the motu will stay at Alert Level 2 for an additional week, and these settings will be reviewed on Monday as well. My whakaaro continue to be with those of you in Tāmaki Makaurau. I know this latest announcement may be hard to hear given the sacrifices you’ve already made for the protection of our country. Heoi anō, this next week of Alert Level 4 gives us the best chance to cement that protection and stamp out COVID-19. Nā reira, kia kaha tonu koutou, kia māia, kia manawanui hoki. For whānau living in Tāmaki Makaurau – Stay home, get tested, and get vaccinated

  • The next week will be critical in providing us with the additional reassurance we need before we can shift in Alert Levels.

  • Alongside active cluster management we are going to continue with focused testing in seven suburbs of interest, including Mount Eden, Mangere, Massey, Favona, Papatoetoe, Otara, and Manurewa. If you live in those areas, please remain vigilant for symptoms.

  • Testing in other suburbs may also be indicated in coming days and I’ll let you know if that’s the case.

  • If you have any COVID-19 symptoms please call Healthline or your health provider and ask about getting a test.

  • Please stick to your bubble and stay home as much as possible. Help reduce risk by having only one person travel to get essential items and kai. Even better if that person stays the same for each trip.

  • Please also book in for your vaccination if you haven’t already done so. We want as many Aucklanders as possible to have had their first dose by the end of the week. If you’ve booked your first vaccine but it’s not until October, jump online again, you may find more spots have opened for this week. Please take advantage of those.

  • COVID-19 has had a significant impact on how we live, and we know lockdowns can cause stress and anxiety, especially for whānau in Tāmaki Makaurau. Hei whakamaumahara, it’s okay to not be okay. The Ministry’s website has a range of tools and resources to support mental wellbeing. It can also tell you where to get more help if you need it.

  • Finally, the Unite Against COVID website has a list of financial support available for whānau and individuals.

33 new community cases in Aotearoa

  • There are 33 new cases of COVID-19 in the community. All of these are in the Tāmaki Makaurau region.

  • This brings the total number of community cases associated with this outbreak to 955, with 938 in Tāmaki Makaurau and 17 in Pōneke.

  • Of these cases, 372 are now deemed to have recovered, giving us an active total of 583.

  • There are 21 cases in hospital across Tāmaki Makaurau. Of these, four remain in intensive care.

  • The total number of unlinked cases currently sits at 27, one of which is from today’s cases. We will continue working with our public health units to investigate any unlinked cases and as this mahi continues, the total number of unlinked cases will fall.

  • While the numbers over the weekend have been, it’s encouraging to see that most of these cases have been expected. In fact, only one of today’s cases is yet to be linked.

  • Nā reira, while there is reason to be cautious, we shouldn’t be too concerned by this increase in numbers. The signs are currently good – lock-down is working, testing numbers remain high, and there are only a small number of unlinked cases still under investigation.

Update on the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out

  • Yesterday, 33,866 vaccines were administered across Aotearoa.

  • Of these 20,490 were first doses and 13,376 were second doses. This means 68% of eligible New Zealanders have received one dose, and 35% have received their second.

  • For the Māori roll-out, 265,875 Māori have received their first dose and 128,017 are fully vaccinated. So, 46% of our people have had one dose, and 22% are fully vaccinated.

  • I want to mihi to our kaumātua aged 65 and over. Just over 85% have had one dose of the vaccine, and 73% are fully vaccinated. This is a great example for the rest of our people, particularly our rangatahi, to follow.

  • Yesterday’s numbers are a significant drop from the day before, so it’s important we get the numbers back up by encouraging our whānau and friends (aged 12 and over) to book in for their vaccinations as soon as possible. It’s safe and it’s free. They can do this online or by calling 0800 28 29 26.

_____________ 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