Live: Today's Covid cases tipped to be closer to 50 - NZ's plateau or less testing at weekends?; fruit store's three exposures

Author
Michael Neilson, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 30 Aug 2021, 7:09AM
Auckland entered the 40th day of the latest lockdown today. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Auckland entered the 40th day of the latest lockdown today. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Live: Today's Covid cases tipped to be closer to 50 - NZ's plateau or less testing at weekends?; fruit store's three exposures

Author
Michael Neilson, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 30 Aug 2021, 7:09AM

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The number of total Covid cases today is just over 50 - and all in Auckland, the Herald understands.

The drop in cases from the weekend – when over 80 new cases were recorded on both Saturday and Sunday – is a welcome sign as Cabinet prepares to meet to confirm the extension of level 4 for Auckland and Northland from 11.59pm Tuesday.

Most of the new cases will be from tests on Saturday, when 23,000 people were swabbed for Covid-19. That was lower than the 36,000 tests on Thursday and 37,000 on Friday.

Today's new cases bring the total number in the Delta outbreak to more than 560.

The Ministry of Health is due to release more details on today's cases at 1pm before Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holds a press conference at 4pm to confirm New Zealand's alert levels.

It is expected Northland will remain at level 4 for at least another week and Auckland potentially for two more weeks. The rest of the country moves to level 3 from Wednesday.

The Ministry of Health has been approached for comment on today's case numbers.

Meanwhile the latest Covid outbreak location of interest is a West Auckland fruit and vegetable shop which had three exposure events in as many days.

A Covid positive case was at the Tasi Market shop in Massey three times last week - on Thursday, Friday and the latest visit on Saturday.

STORY CONTINUES AFTER LIVE BLOG

STORY CONTINUES

Earlier today it emerged that Navy personnel manning MIQ facilities across Auckland are isolating after Covid was detected in wastewater near their barracks, while an expert warns Delta needs a new rulebook for living and working indoors.

Cabinet is just hours away from announcing how long the top of the country will remain in lockdown as the virus continues to infect more people every day. It's expected Auckland will stay in Alert Level 4 lockdown for a further fortnight, while Northland remains at the heightened level for one more week. The decision will be announced at 4pm.

As New Zealand enters day 13 of lockdown it's emerged that Defence personnel staying at the Auckland naval barracks at Narrowneck on Auckland's North Shore are self-isolating after Covid-19 fragments were detected in the wastewater last Monday.

The site was now in full lockdown with 62 junior officers and ratings undergoing swabs. So far 54 had come back negative with results of eight pending.

The Naval Base and the Narrow Neck Accommodation and Training facility is in the same suburb as the first case that sparked the nationwide lockdown on August 17.

A New Zealand Defence Force spokesman said the positive result was detected last Wednesday after samples were taken on Monday.

The facility was put into lockdown to restrict access to and from it.

All personnel at Narrow Neck had been isolating and tested for Covid-19 on the advice of the Auckland Regional Public Health Service, said the spokesperson.

They remain in isolation.

Additional personnel on reserve standby to replace personnel who were rostered to start a MIQF duty had been called in to cover for the isolating staff, said the spokesperson.

It comes as police confirmed a non-sworn staff member at their Auckland headquarters had tested positive for Covid-19.

The person, who works in a non-sworn role at Harlech House in Otahuhu, had been to work for one shift several days after being exposed to a family member who was infectious.

There are now 511 people with infections in the current outbreak with 496 in Auckland and 15 in Wellington. Over the weekend 82 new cases were added on Saturday, and 83 on Sunday.

Cabinet is meeting today to discuss the future of Auckland's and Northland's lockdown after an announcement last week the rest of the country would shift down alert levels from Wednesday.