Auckland to remain at level 4, rest of the country at level 2

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 13 Sep 2021, 3:44PM

Auckland to remain at level 4, rest of the country at level 2

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 13 Sep 2021, 3:44PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today announced Cabinet’s decision on alert levels. 

The Prime Minister said Auckland would remain at alert level 4 for 1 more week, then in principle would move to level 3. The rest of the country would remain at level 2 for another week then be reviewed. 

  • There are 33 new cases in the community, just 1 remains to be linked epidemiologically 
  • In total there has been 938 cases in Auckland (360 of whom have recovered); And 17 in Wellington (12 of whom have recovered) 
  • Jacinda Ardern said while the number may seem high most of those cases were expected. Delta was likely to be passed on to family members, she said, which means numbers will keep "rumbling along". 
  • “It is also clear there is not widespread transmission in Auckland” Ardern said. That didn't mean alert level 4 wasn't working in Auckland, she said. 
  • Surveillance testing across certain suburbs and health care workers had not found any cases, she said. 
  • But there were still three clusters producing cases outside household or close contact circles, and there were still unlinked cases. 
  • In the last two weeks, 17 remain unlinked, and of those, only a handful were of "particular concern. But they were still coming through, she said. "It does present risk." 
  • Those cases were out and about in the community, or may have been sourced from cases that were undetected. 
  • There needed to be ongoing cluster management, as well as ongoing surveillance testing. 
  • The R value at the start of the outbreak was six or higher, but is now below 1. 
  • "We haven't quite finished the job yet. Level 4 remains our best option at this stage of the outbreak.” 
  • Auckland will remain at level 4 for another week, until 11.59pm on September 21. 
  • Cabinet has made an in-principle decision that Auckland will move to level 3 at that time. 
  • Ardern said if Covid-19 travelled over the Auckland boundary, there would be a far greater chance of spread if the rest of the country was at level 1. 
  • Level 2 will remain for outside Auckland for another week, and Cabinet will review these settings on Monday next week. 
  • Ardern said Aucklanders were owed a debt of gratitude. "The next week will be critical in providing the additional reassurance we need." 
  • She asked residents in Mt Eden, Massey, Mangere, Favona, Papatoetoe, Otara and Manurewa to be especially vigilant. "Please stick to your bubble. Stay home as much as possible. Try to reduce risk by having just one person go to the shop or supermarket." 
  • She said it's better if that person did supermarket trips every time, and if that person was vaccinated. 
  • She also said get tested, even if you have the mildest symptoms. "Please don't put it down to winter chills." 
  • Her final ask was for people to get vaccinated. 
  • She said Aucklanders booked in for a jab in October should jump online again to check for earlier appointments, or they should go to a drive-thru, where appointments weren't necessary. 
  • Another fortnight of the wage subsidy will be triggered by the extra week in alert level 4. 
  • Another round of the resurgence support payment will open on Friday. "If you think you might be eligible for assistance, tap into what's there." 
  • On the different levels across the country, Ardern said they did not believe there were cases outside Auckland. But they wanted restrictions in place in case there was a case to be able to stamp it out very quickly. 
  • Bloomfield said the signs were good. The lockdown was working, testing at a good level, and there were just a few cases giving concern. An extra week would give them the time needed to find those extra cases. "I have a high level of confidence we will get around this outbreak." 
  • Ardern said they wanted to use this week "wisely" to get surveillance testing and cluster management up. 
  • Looking further out Ardern said New Zealand was still focusing on elimination until vaccination rates were higher. 
  • Bloomfield said we were now vaccinating at a great rate and it was important more people were vaccinated. Delta had shown people the threat of the virus, he said 
  • It was not good if the overall rate was high but there were pockets of vulnerable people unvaccinated, he said. 
  • Even looking at countries with high vaccination rates they were still having to use restrictions. 
  • Ardern said most countries had never lost their restrictions. They were more finding as vaccinations increased, they were able to start removing them. Meanwhile New Zealand for a long time has had no restrictions. 
  • Vaccinations will make "all the difference", Ardern said. 

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