60 new covid cases in NZ as regions scramble over positive visits

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Sixty covid-19 infection cases in a day is the highest number in New Zealand since September 1, when 75 cases were reported. Image: TVNZ screenshot APR

RNZ News

New Zealand’s Ministry of Health today announced 60 new community cases of covid-19, the most in nearly six weeks, while Northland and the Bay of Plenty continued to deal with positive cases visiting their regions.

Of the 60 new cases reported today, 56 were in Auckland, three in Waikato and one in Bay of Plenty that was announced last night.

It is the most new cases reported since September 1, when 75 cases were revealed.

In a statement today, the Health Ministry said 41 of today’s new infections had been linked to earlier cases.

There have been no cases reported yet in Northland after a positive case visited there, but the region remains on edge.

The ministry said there were 29 infected people in hospital, including seven in intensive care.

The ministry also reported that a person receiving treatment at North Shore Hospital dialysis unit yesterday tested positive for the coronavirus.

The unit closed yesterday afternoon for a deep clean.

There were 20,421 tests carried out in New Zealand yesterday, including 7071 in Auckland.

There have now been 1587 cases in the current delta outbreak, and 4265 covid-19 cases in total in New Zealand.

Positive case region visits
Outside of Auckland, officials continued to follow up details of a positive case who visited Northland and the other case revealed in the Bay of Plenty last night.

Authorities have now contacted a woman who travelled in Northland with another woman who later tested positive for covid-19, but they still do not know her location.

It is not known if this second woman has covid-19.

The woman who tested positive remains in an Auckland quarantine facility, the ministry said in a media statement.

That woman had not been “forthcoming” in providing information to contact tracers, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, complicating efforts to track down any possible cases.

The Bay of Plenty town of Katikati is also on high alert after a person tested positive yesterday for covid-19, with new locations of interest in the region named by the Ministry of Health this morning.

The infected person was tested in Auckland, but was moving to the Bay and was in the region when the result arrived.

Western Bay of Plenty mayor Garry Webber said Katikati was hoping to prevent further infection. He said the result was a weak positive.

“But regardless of what it is, it is here in one shape or form and we just have to get into preventative mode.”

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A steady climb in cases since the drop down from alert level 4 to 3 on September 22. Image: TVNZ screenshot APR

Vaccination push continues
Nearly 82,000 doses of the vaccine were administered yesterday.

This includes 18,000 people receiving their first shot, and 65,000 people completing their course of both vaccines.

Prime Minister Ardern continued her visit to East Coast communities to encourage vaccination with a trip to Gisborne this morning.

Turanga Health’s clinic was in high demand, with many people in cars lining up to be vaccinated.

Parts of the city have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

This was the last stop on the Prime Minister’s four-day tour of East coast communities, and she returned to Wellington today. She visited Rotorua, Murupara, Hastings, Wairoa, Gisborne and Ruatōrea.

Ardern said she was trying to support people.

“There’s not too much that’s useful I can do at a vaccination centre, other than distract people when they get injected, or provide a coffee.”

In the last seven days 115,000 people have received their first shot.

Another 9700 Māori were vaccinated, after yesterday’s record of just over 10,000.

Auckland now has 86 percent of people with at least one dose.

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

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