A child under the age of 1 is the youngest case in the Delta outbreak so far, while a number of other positive cases are teenagers, says Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield.
The Covid outbreak - for which there are now 148 cases - has affected at least seven schools as well as Auckland University and AUT.
Bloomfield said a child aged under 1 was the youngest case in the outbreak so far, and several other cases were aged under 20.
Bloomfield said a large proportion of cases were also now of Samoan ethnicity, as a result of the sub-cluster of about 58 cases linked to the Assembly of God Church of Samoa in Mangere.
The cluster from the Samoan Assembly Of God Church in South Auckland's Māngere included people who attended a service, and their contacts.
Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Bloomfield have been fronting a health select committee and answering questions about the outbreak.
Public health director Caroline McElnay has told the committee that there are three types of contacts in the latest outbreak.
There were 369 close plus contacts, 51 per cent of whom had test results, and 11 per cent were positive. There were 14,967 close contacts, 56 per cent had returned test results, and 0.2 per cent were positive. And there were 405 casual plus contacts, about half of whom were tested, with no positive results so far.
Bloomfield has also confirmed that two people who used a walkway and who were being sought in the investigation into how the Delta variant leaked from the Crowne Plaza in Auckland have been located and are being interviewed.
It was believed six people were in the vicinity of the NSW returnee at the Crowne Plaza - the person believed to be the index case for this latest outbreak.
It could be several days before new case numbers peaked, he said.
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Bloomfield said cases were increasing coming from locations of interest or from close contacts, rather than from people who were infected pre-lockdown.
Hipkins said Delta meant that the Government had to use faster and more severe lockdowns rather than being able to rely on contact tracers.
He said the Government stepped down from alert levels in Auckland too soon in February this year, and had to be escalated again - and that lesson had been learnt.
Hipkins said the Government was "acutely" aware of challenges with the healthcare workforce, but it was something that one Government couldn't quickly fix.
"The overall health workforce is still under pressure."
Latest case numbers
There are 41 new Covid-19 cases in the community today, bringing the total since the outbreak began to 148.
Thirty-eight of the new cases are in Auckland and three of the new cases are in Wellington, Bloomfield says.
Bloomfield and Deputy Minister Grant Robertson both expected more new active Covid-19 cases in the days ahead.
"We're not there yet," Robertson said.
The Māngere church event involved a big gathering of different church groups, Bloomfield said.
"It was essentially an assembly of the assemblies."
Some of those who attended the big assembly travelled from Wellington.
Bloomfield has also confirmed at today'shealth select committee the final two people who were being sought in the investigation into how the Delta variant leaked from the Crowne Plaza in Auckland have been located and are being interviewed.
Eight patients are in hospital with Covid-19 but none of those in intensive care, Bloomfield said.
The majority of new cases were household contacts of existing cases or people who'd been at known locations of interest.
"There are several mutations that are appearing that are helping to identify sub-clusters," Bloomfield said.
The second-largest sub-cluster was centred on Birkdale, on Auckland's North Shore, and had about 23 known cases.
Child aged under 1 youngest case
Bloomfield has told the health select committee this afternoon a child aged under one was the youngest case in the outbreak so far, and several cases were under 20.
Source investigation latest
Bloomfield confirmed two people who were being sought in the investigation into how the Delta variant leaked from the Crowne Plaza in Auckland have been located and are being interviewed.
It was thought six people were in the vicinity of the NSW returnee at the Crowne Plaza, who is believed to be the index case for this latest outbreak.
Police and CCTV footage were used to track the six. Bloomfield said over the weekend contact tracers were working with the police to try to find the people.
Positive MIQ staffer was fully vaccinated
A MIQ staff member at the Novotel Ellerslie who tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday was fully vaccinated and last went to work at the facility on Wednesday.
Joint head of managed isolation and quarantine brigadier Rose King said the person was tested after being identified as being at a location of interest.
There is no reason to think the person was linked to the possible line of transmission from MIQ to the community as they did not work at the Crowne Plaza or Jet Park facilities, which is where the person who brought the virus in from New South Wales had been staying.
CCTV footage had been reviewed and identified close contacts in the work place, who were now isolating. Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) was also carrying out interviews to identify any other close contacts both at and outside of the workplace.
The pause on returnees leaving Novotel Ellerslie put in place yesterday afternoon has now lifted and they can all leave according to their departure timeline, King said.
9000 people self-isolating
Bloomfield said more than 9,000 contacts had been contacted and were self-isolating.
Almost 900 frontline contact-traces were working on the pandemic response, Bloomfield said.
"All of our cases are interviewed within 24 hours," Bloomfield added.
The current outbreak dwarfed last year's Auckland August cluster, Bloomfield said.
"We've got ten times the number of close contacts than we had in August last year."
There are more than 100 new locations of interest today.
A record 63,333 vaccinations were administered yesterday.
Bloomfield said it was important for more people to get their first Covid-19 vaccine dose.
Everybody could apply for vaccinations from September 1.
Robertson said this should lead to more Māori and Pasifika getting vaccinated.
"You can expect to see those groups really ramping their work up."
Bloomfield said strict health and safety measures would be in place at vaccination centres.
Robertson defended the Government's vaccination strategy.
"What you're now seeing is we're really ramping up that vaccination program.
"We've got good levels of bookings, good levels of vaccinations."
Crowne Plaza investigation
Authorities were still investigating a possible Covid transmission event at Auckland's Crowne Plaza hotel MIQ centre.
"Whenever there's been an issue, we've another look at the way MIQs are operated," Robertson said.
He said the previous cohort of Crowne Plaza guests were now all out of that hotel.
Robertson said police and MBIE told him most people and businesses were complying with lockdown rules.
"When were dealing with Delta it's more important than ever that people limit their movement."
Bloomfield said there were multiple possible origins for the Delta outbreak.
"We're still open-minded about how the virus got [out]."
Bloomfield said the major focus now was on controlling the outbreak.
"We don't always get a 100 per cent answer here," Robertson said.
Eventually, it could become futile to try pinpoint where exactly the virus outbreak originated.
'Like a whole new virus'
Bloomfield said he spoke with his Australian counterpart, who said Delta was "like a whole new virus".
The extreme infectiousness of Delta made it critical people followed Level 4 rules, Bloomfield said.
In some cases where a high risk of infection existed, everyone in a household bubble must stay home.
"This means staying home by everybody, full stop."
Bloomfield said he recognised concerns about Māori and Pasifika communities, given these groups often had higher rates of pre-existing health conditions.
"The reason we have a large number of Pacific cases...is because of this particular cluster around the AOG event."
He said health authorities and the Pasifika community were working together on contact tracing.
"We will make sure that we get rid of Covid in that community."
Strain on testing systems
Bloomfield said more than 35,000 tests were processed yesterday.
"The waits are getting less, certainly in Auckland."
More than 20 community testing centres had been established in Auckland, and 11 centres in Wellington.
"Anyone who is a close contact or who has been at a high-risk setting, that testing is prioritised."
These people had their tests fast-tracked at five testing centres, which were effectively invitation-only centres, Bloomfield said.
"Any tests in high-risk people are turned around very quickly."
Roberston said testing capacity in Auckland was stretched at the moment.
Because of the strain on Auckland testing infrastructure, people elsewhere in New Zealand were helping out.
Robertson said authorities were also approaching universities, to see if universities could help with processing tests.
Meanwhile, scam test results were doing the rounds, Bloomfield said, where people received fraudulent texts saying they'd tested positive.
Anybody with a positive test result would get a phone call, he said.
Wastewaster testing had found no unexpected results.
"The second sample from Warkworth has come back negative."
The Covid-19 traces in Warwkworth may have been due to a person passing through the town north of Auckland, Bloomfield said.
Healthline had taken more than one million calls now, and more than 2000 people were working on the vaccination helpline.
$484m of wage subsidy payments
Robertson, the Finance Minister, said a range of support measures were available to help with the Covid-19 response, including the leave support scheme.
This scheme was valued at $600 a week for full-time workers.
He urged workers to talk to employers about what help was available.
The resurgence support payment was now available, Robertson said, and available nationally to any business with a greater than 30 per cent drop in revenue over seven days due to lockdown.
This could also help with rent or fixed costs for businesspeople.
The wage subsidy scheme had processed more than 100,000 applications totalling about $484 million, Robertson said.
Businesses applying for the subsidy were mostly sole traders.
Most had between one to 19 staff members, the Finance Minister said.
Only one employer with more than 500 employees had applied for the subsidy so far.
Roberston thanked businesses for their response to the latest outbreak.
"Thank you for how you are adapting to the lockdown and adjusting your systems," he added.
The economy overall had been performing well lately, he said.
"Everybody is playing their part in New Zealand at this time."
He said more than 4500 people were working at MIQ facilities, and Robertson extended his thanks to those staff from all agencies involved.
Enough public money was available to deal with the wage subsidy and other existing support schemes, Robertson said.
Enough public money was available to deal with the wage subsidy and other existing support schemes, Robertson said.
Because big businesses were not yet applying for subsidies, the financial outlook was good, he said.
"There are underspends in other parts of the fund...we have significant resources available."
"So there is no shortage of funding here. The New Zealand economy has been incredibly resilient."
He said a public health-centred approach had protected the economy during the pandemic.
Robertson said anyone who was working in essential services in the private sector should still be paid their usual wages.
"Nothing changes about employment law."
Robertson reminded people in Auckland not to take long-distance car trips.
"There is no way that it is a good idea to get in your car and drive to Thames."
On Monday 35 new cases were announced, bringing the total to 107 - 99 in Auckland and 8 in Wellington.
The news preceded an announcement that Auckland's lockdown would be extended another week, reflecting it as the epicentre and growing close contact and places of interest numbers, and the rest of New Zealand until 11.59pm Friday.
On Tuesday morning it was revealed a worker at Auckland's Novotel Ellerslie managed isolation centre had tested positive for Covid.
Residents were told in a letter that the staffer had previously visited a location of interest. They had been self-isolating since and were tested on August 20.
An investigation has now begun to work out how the staff member caught the virus and if it was transmitted to anyone else. Genome sequencing will be carried out to help with this, according to Newshub.
Close contacts among staff members and those outside the facility are now being established through an interview with the person.
Joint MIQ head Brigadier Rose King reassured guests in the letter that there were "robust processes in place to respond to these kinds of events".
Meanwhile Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is warning to expect the number of Covid cases to rise again today as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread through households and the community.
There are currently more than 400+ locations of interest, with the latest Auckland locations including supermarkets, takeaway outlets, the Auckland Art Gallery and now a new school: Green Bay High.
Other new locations revealed today include St Therese Catholic Church in Māngere East,
The Warehouse at West City Waitākere and several more bus routes.
Meanwhile, a lecturer at Victoria University in Wellington has also tested positive but students have been reassured the university was not a location of interest due to the person not working at the time they were considered contagious.
Meanwhile, the Government is still investigating how the original transmission occurred from the New South Wales returnee who was staying in MIQ at the Crowne Plaza.
Ardern told RNZ they were still working through "some theories" regarding whether or not a Covid outbreak happened at a walkway at the Crowne Plaza.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson told MPs today that the economy is well-positioned to deal with the Delta outbreak.
So far 127,935 businesses have had wage subsidy applications approved, which has seen $484.4 million already paid out to businesses.