Covid 19 Delta outbreak: 41 new community cases announced as NZ goes for vaccination record on Super Saturday

There are 41 new Covid-19 cases in the community on a day when more than 70,000 Kiwis have already received a dose of the vaccine as part of the Super Saturday “vaxathon”.

As at 10am, 20 of these cases are linked with 13 being household contacts. Another 21 case remain unlinked with investigations continuing to help determine their connection to the current outbreak, the Ministry of Health said.

There are 124 unlinked cases from the past 14 days.

An Auckland woman associated with the two women who travelled to Northland has tested positive for Covid-19 and is in an Auckland quarantine facility.

She was in Northland with the other two women.

Public health officials have determined she wasn’t infectious while she was in Northland between 2-8 October. Her infectious period has been determined as beginning after she returned to Auckland.

Three household contacts and two other contacts have been identified by public health officials. These contacts follow a visit to a private home in Auckland and shared transport to the testing centre.

Six people are in intensive care, while 31 are in hospital.

That includes three in North Shore hospital, 17 in Middlemore and 11 in Auckland.

Two travellers arriving from overseas have also tested positive in managed isolation. They both arrived from the United States on October 11.

Super Saturday has kicked off strongly, meanwhile, with thousands of people around the country rolling up their sleeves for their Covid-19 vaccinations.

At 1:45pm, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said 76,378 have been vaccinated so far today. This number includes 21,945 people who received their first dose.

Today’s numbers include 5,443 first doses and 6,004 second doses for Māori.

Today, 1,979 Pacific people have received their first vaccination and 4,215 the second dose.

In Auckland today 4,490 Aucklanders have had their first dose and 17,714 their second.

There were 69,663 vaccine shots given out yesterday, including 14,037 first doses and 55,626 second doses.

Overall, New Zealand reached 6,183,988 vaccine doses yesterday with 3,526,668 (or 84 per cent of the eligible population) having had one dose and 2,657,320 (63 per cent) having had a second dose.

That includes 364,556 first doses for Māori and 241,532 second doses, while Pacific people have had 225,288 first doses and 160,074 second doses.

“Vaccination remains our number one protection against Covid-19,” the ministry said.

“The vaxathon is encouraging New Zealanders – particularly young Māori, Pacific and people living with a disability to get vaccinated.”

“To best protect your whānau, community, and the rest of New Zealand we are asking you to help us reach your friends, whânau, and colleagues who may still have some hesitation about being vaccinated and need some help and support to get it done.”

There have been 2,241,688 vaccine doses given out in Auckland, including 1,260,137 ( or 88 per cent of the eligible population) having had a first dose and 981,551 (or 69 per cent) having had two doses.

There is one new positive Covid-19 case to report from the Waikato outbreak.

The case is a household member of two existing cases and is already in a quarantine facility in Auckland, the ministry said.

Waikato DHB is continuing to carry out regionwide testing, to help rule out any undetected community spread of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, vaccination rates in Waikato remained high yesterday with 5,789 people receiving a dose – of these, 1,591 were first doses, and a further 4,198 were second doses.

There continues to be positive Covid-19 detections in wastewater samples taken from Raglan.

This reflects known cases in the area who have been granted exemptions to isolate at home. However, symptomatic locals are encouraged to please get tested.

There have also been positive detections in wastewater from Beachlands and Pukekohe.

These followed earlier detections at both sites on October 8. People in these areas with symptoms are also asked to please get tested, the ministry said.

People in Wellsford are urged to get tested after two positive detections in wastewater samples.

Further samples are currently being analysed. There are testing stations open today at both Wellsford and Warkworth, and a pop-up testing centre is expected to open on Monday in Mangawhai.

35 of yesterday’s 64 cases have had exposure events in the community, while 25 cases were in isolation while infectious, the ministry said.

In total, there have been 1840 cases in Auckland, with 1228 of whom have recovered, along with 38 in Waikato (two of whom have recovered) and 17 in Wellington (all of whom have recovered).

Health teams are managing 2032 active contacts of Covid cases, while there are now 446 locations of interest.

Of the active contacts, 83 per cent have been contacted by contact tracers to confirm the need to isolate and get a test, while 75 per cent have had at least one test result.

There were 24,285 Covid tests done in the last 24 hours.

There were 65 new cases yesterday but just 3571 first vaccine doses were administered in Auckland.

It comes as the highest number of new community cases recorded in a single day in this New Zealand Delta outbreak took place on August 29 with 83 cases recorded.

Case numbers then later declined but have been rising steadily this week from 35 on Monday to 71 on Thursday, leading to fears today’s figure could again reach the 80s.

However there is also hope that today’s Super Saturday can make a significant difference to vaccination levels.

Vaccine centres have been set up, not only around Auckland, but right around the country with many offering free food and giveaways alongside festive atmospheres with music and celebrities on hand.

The day’s live ‘Vaxathon’ will run from midday to 8pm. The event will celebrate the regions with the biggest change in vaccination numbers and be supported by well-known Kiwis.

It aims especially to reach out to those yet to get their first dose and encourage them to come forward and get the vaccine in a fun and friendly environment with possibly a free sausage thrown in.

The Ministry of Health said vaccination remained the country’s number one protection against the disease and urged everyone to get vaccinated or support someone to get vaccinated on Super Saturday.

Ministry figures show just 3571 first doses were administered in Auckland on Thursday, along with 17,399 second doses.

Auckland’s vaccination rate is now 88 per cent (at least one dose) with 67 per cent of eligible residents fully vaccinated.

New Zealand’s overall vaccination rate is 83.4 per cent (first dose at least) with 61.8 per cent of the eligible population fully vaccinated.

Of the 71 cases announced on Thursday, 30 had exposure events in the community and the rest were isolated through their infectious period.

There are 34 people in hospital with Covid-19 – six in ICU or High Dependency Units.

Bloomfield earlier told RNZ that of the 170 people so far hospitalised in the Delta outbreak in Auckland only three had been fully vaccinated.

Around 4 per cent of all people who had caught Covid in the outbreak were fully vaccinated – while a percentage of others had received one dose, he said. The vast majority of cases and hospitalised people had not received any dose.

“We do know vaccinated people seem to be infectious for a shorter period. First of all, they are less likely to pass on the virus and if they are infectious, it’s for a shorter period.”

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