NZ reports covid community cases drop – by half down to 15

NZ covid-19 delta variant
New Zealand's covid-19 delta variant outbreak ... health and public safety updates. Image: RNZ

RNZ News

New Zealand has reported 15 new cases of covid-19 in the community, the Ministry of Health has announced.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said there were no unlinked cases today.

The one case from yesterday that was not linked to the outbreak, had now been linked, Dr Bloomfield said.

He said 10 cases in the outbreak were yet to be epidemiologically linked.

Dr Bloomfield said the focus for testing was in the following suburbs – Massey, Māngere, Favona, Papatoetoe, Manurewa and Ōtara.

Anyone with cold and flu symptoms was urged to get a test.

He said families with children were urged to get tested together.

15,685 essential workers tested
So far this month, 15,685 essential workers in the Auckland region have been tested with no positive cases identified.

“On contact tracing we’re now focusing our efforts on 1242 contacts that are under active management. This is a change to the reporting total context for the whole outbreak,” he said.

“The number of contacts under active management is now down to a much smaller number as … majority of our contacts have now either returned negative tests or have had exposures more than 18 days ago and we’re not generating significant numbers of new contacts outside of households.

“There was a positive wastewater result received from a sample taken last week in Pukekohe.”

Dr Bloomfield said Public Health had advised there were four cases in the area who were in quarantine but had now returned home.

“This could explain the result. But anyone in the Pukekohe area, who has symptoms, please go and get tested.”

There were no other “unexpected detections” in wastewater samples in Auckland or around the country that had returned positive results.

Supermarkets on random agenda
On random surveillance testing at supermarkets, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the government had considered the option in case “you want to do a lot of surveillance testing very quickly at sites where you haven’t had ongoing testing”.

The health team had advised that “in the current environment testing stations have established for symptomatic and their asymptomatic plans are still reaching into those communities at high rates”.

“But we continue to say let’s consider everything and certainly supermarkets have been on our agenda for something that should be considered.”

Dr Bloomfield said testing was not done at random, but specific suburbs had been identified for it.

Yesterday, the ministry reported 33 new community cases of covid-19.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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