9 new cases of COVID

There are nine new confirmed cases of COVID-19 to report in the community today.

There are no new cases to report at the border.

Seven of the new cases are linked to previous cases in the cluster, and two cases remain under investigation but are strongly believed to be linked to the same cluster.

There are now a total of four cases under investigation.

As of 6 pm last night, 86 people linked to the cluster have been moved into quarantine facility, made up of 36 people who have tested positive and their household contacts.

There are five people receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19. Two are in Auckland City Hospital on a ward, and three people are in Middlemore.

The nine new confirmed cases to report today bring our total number of confirmed cases to 1,280 which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.

The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 78, of which 58 are from the recent community outbreak, and 20 are imported cases in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.

Testing

We are continuing to see record levels of testing and our laboratories are continuing to meet the demand for levels we have not previously seen or processed.

Yesterday our laboratories processed 26,014 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 597,956 of which almost 100 thousand were completed in the last 6 days.

As previously reported, because of the high volumes that we are seeing it may take up to 48 hours for swabs to be processed through the labs.

Only people who have symptoms should get tested. Our highest risk swabs are getting processed as quickly as possible.

Swabs of close contacts and others considered high-risk are prioritised and those with positive results are alerted quickly.

Border testing

Testing has ramped up even further at the border – both at airports and at ports.

A dedicated testing team is operating with extended hours to ensure Ports of Auckland workers have access to Covid-19 testing.

Testing of all government-agency frontline staff at the Auckland border – Customs, Biosecurity, Immigration NZ, Aviation Security – is expected to be completed soon.

We’re continuing to test staff working in managed isolation and quarantine facilities across the country.

In Auckland where more than 2500 staff work in managed isolation and quarantine facilities, 2100 staff have been swabbed on site, with further staff tested at community testing centres and GPs.

Casual contacts

Understandably there is significant interest in the contact tracing activity and locations or organisations where confirmed cases may have been.

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