Delta's creep across the North Island - 172 new cases, nine regions

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 20 Nov 2021, 1:03PM
Two patients of Edmonton Meadows Care Home in Henderson have died in hospital this week after Covid-19 spread through patients and staff earlier this month. (Photo / Dean Purcell)
Two patients of Edmonton Meadows Care Home in Henderson have died in hospital this week after Covid-19 spread through patients and staff earlier this month. (Photo / Dean Purcell)

Delta's creep across the North Island - 172 new cases, nine regions

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 20 Nov 2021, 1:03PM

There are 172 new cases of Covid in the community today - and the first Wellington case has been confirmed, an essential worker from Auckland.

The confirmed case in the Capital means there are now nine health board districts in the North Island with Delta cases - and a 10th in Canterbury.

Of the 172 new cases, 148 are in Auckland, 12 in Waikato, four in Northland, three in Bay of Plenty, four in Lakes (Rotorua/Taupo) and one in Wellington. There are currently 70 people in hospital with Covid-19, with five people in ICU.

The ministry said the suspected Wellington case has been confirmed today, following a repeat swab returning a second positive result. The case was picked up as part of routine surveillance testing and is an essential worker from Auckland working in the city.

Investigations have identified a small number of close contacts, including the person's co-workers, who are isolating and being tested. All results have so far come back negative.

The ministry is urging anyone in Wellington with Covid-19 symptoms to get tested, even those who are vaccinated.

"The case is a user of the Covid-19 tracer app, which will assist with contact tracing and identifying any locations of interest," said the ministry. "So far, one location of interest has been identified – Countdown Cable Car Lane in Wellington Central – and has been added to the ministry's website. As investigations continue, more locations of interest may be confirmed by public health staff."

Growing numbers of cases continue to overwhelm contact tracing efforts with just 50 per cent of contacts have returned at least one test result, which has dropped by 20 per cent in recent weeks.

Only 69 per cent of the 5813 contacts have received a call from contact tracers to confirm testing and isolation requirements.

At the three-month mark of the Delta outbreak, infections in the community have now surpassed 6500 with Māori making up nearly half of all cases.

The cases are spread around the North Island, with three still active cases in Canterbury:

  • Northland 62 (28 of whom have recovered);
  • Auckland 6246 (2158 of whom have recovered);
  • Waikato 325 (98 of whom have recovered);
  • Bay of Plenty 10;
  • Lakes 21;
  • Taranaki 6;
  • MidCentral 3;
  • Wairarapa 3;
  • Wellington 18 (17 of whom have recovered);
  • Nelson/Marlborough 1 (recovered);
  • Canterbury 6 (3 of whom have recovered).


There are 2459 Aucklanders with Covid-19 self-isolating at home. Including household contacts, public health staff are supporting 5430 people self-isolating across Auckland.

Twenty-one residents and five staff have now tested positive for the virus at Edmonton Meadows Care Home in Henderson, Auckland. Three of the residents are in hospital receiving care.

Almost half of the 70 hospitalised cases (34) are unvaccinated or ineligible for the vaccine, 16 cases are partially vaccinated, 14 are fully vaccinated and one case is unknown. It appears five cases have not been included in this data as they are still under assessment.


Of Northland's four new cases today, one is in Kaitaia, one in Ruakākā and one in Dargaville. The fourth resides in Auckland and is isolating there.

All three of the cases based in the Northland region are close contacts of existing cases and were already in isolation.

Concern is growing about the creep of new Covid-19 cases which now span the length of the North Island, while other cases continue to recover in Christchurch.

Bay of Plenty

There are three new cases in the Bay of Plenty - two are in Tauranga and one is Mount Maunganui which is connected to an existing case, the ministry said.

Staff have been stood down at Tauranga Hospital after a person who tested positive turned up for treatment a the Emergency Department late last night.

Public health officials deem the risk from last night's exposure event at Tauranga Hospital is low but are today carrying out further evaluations. One ward has been closed to both visitors and new patients out of an abundance of caution. Three staff members have been stood down as a precaution.


There are 12 new cases being reported in Waikato today. Public health staff are now supporting 135 cases who are isolating at home in the region.

Across Waikato, there are eight pop-up and dedicated testing centres operating today at Hamilton, Ôtorohanga, Huntly, Ngâruawâhia, Thames, and Te Kuiti.

Testing will be available at South Waikato Pacific Islands Community Services Trust, 1 Maraetai Lane, in Tokoroa from 4–7pm today. Further testing from tomorrow will be announced on the Waikato DHB website.

Yesterday, there were around 2400 tests processed across the region.

Lakes district - Rotorua and Taupō

Two of the new cases in the Lakes DHB area are connected to the Taupō cluster, one of which is in Rotorua Hospital. There are also two new cases in Rotorua. One is linked to an existing case and investigations into the other case are ongoing but potential links have already been identified.

Big uptake of My Vaccine Pass

As at mid-morning today, about 900,000 people had successfully downloaded their My Vaccine Pass - an increase of about 200,000 from the same time yesterday.

On vaccinations, 22,608 doses were administered yesterday - 6833 first doses and 15,775 second doses.

Nationally, 91 per cent of eligible Kiwis have been partially vaccinated, 83 per cent are fully vaccinated.

The first dose level for the Pasifika population has almost reached 90 per cent, currently at 89 per cent. Seventy-eight per cent have been fully vaccinated

For Māori, 79 per cent are partially vaccinated and 63 per cent have received both doses.

All 70 people in hospital with the virus are in Auckland, save for one in Whangārei and one in Waikato.

There are five people in intensive care or high dependency units, less one from yesterday.

The seven day rolling average of community cases is 190

Fifty of yesterday's cases were infectious in the community, while 107 were isolating while infectious

The majority of today's cases (97) are yet to be linked to the outbreak, 75 have been linked.

No unexpected wastewater detections have been reported

Meanwhile, two cases were picked up at the border - people who flew in from Australia and United Arab Emirates. Both are in MIQ in Auckland

Grim week

It's been the deadliest week of the outbreak so far with five people losing their lives to Covid-19 as New Zealand enters its fourth month in a grip of a pandemic now spilling into centres across the North Island.

Since Covid was first detected in New Zealand there have been 38 deaths. This week five people lost their lives.

On Saturday a woman in her 90s who had resided at the Edmonton Meadows Care Home in West Auckland died in North Shore Hospital.

In announcing her death health officials said underlying health conditions and the state of her health meant it was not clinically appropriate for her to receive ventilator or ICU care.

She had been admitted to hospital on November 6 from the rest home where an outbreak has seen 25 cases of Covid-19 in staff and residents. She had tested positive for Covid before going to hospital.

The week's second death came on Tuesday with a man in his late 70s dying in Auckland City Hospital.

He had been admitted to hospital on November 11 and subsequently tested positive for Covid.

On Wednesday health officials announced a man in his 60s had died on Tuesday at North Shore Hospital. The ministry said the man was admitted to hospital on November 4 with Covid symptoms and subsequently tested positive.

Then on Thursday a second Edmonton Meadows Care Home resident, a man in his 90s, died in North Shore Hospital and a woman in her 80s died at Middlemore Hospital.

Vaccination milestone

But there has been a moment of celebration in the past 24 hours as the race to vaccinate ahead of the virus spreading achieved a milestone, when the first district health board area in the city at the centre of the outbreak reached 90 per cent fully vaccinated.

Residents of Auckland DHB join Queenstown-Lakes, Selwyn District in Canterbury and Wellington in the 90 per cent fully-vaxxed club.

The city, which has been level 3 or 4 for 95 days, has two other DHBs - Waitematā and Counties Manukau, at 87 per cent and 84 per cent double-dosed respectively.