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Today is the day any new community cases in the latest Covid outbreak in Auckland will start to reveal themselves.
Health officials say test results from close contacts and casual plus contacts connected to the Papatoetoe cluster will now determine whether Auckland stays in lockdown.
Any new community cases of Covid-19 are expected to start showing from today onwards - and will also determine whether or not Auckland stays under lockdown.
Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today there were no new Covid community cases reported overnight.
Hipkins rejected suggestions on Newstalk ZB this morning that the continued lockdown was embarrassing when there were no new cases. He told broadcaster Mike Hosking it was "encouraging".
"I think we're back to where we were two weeks ago. Ultimately we want to get out of lockdown as soon as we can... we're working at speed to make sure we can get decisions as quick as we can," Hipkins said.
He said the last thing he wanted was to go back into lockdown.
He revealed "eight or nine thousand" people had been vaccinated already, this was ahead of schedule.
Frontline health workers would start getting their jabs this week.
'We're not out of the woods'
Director general of health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, yesterday acknowledged that despite the lack of new community cases reported this week, we would only start to see whether the cluster has grown over the next few days.
"We're not out of the woods," he told a media conference.
Test results due to come back include people who had come into contact with a 21-year-old man, dubbed Case M, who visited a number of places in South Auckland when he would have been infectious.
He is a student at the Manukau Institute of Technology. He visited the campus several times and on several days last week.
A total of 21 people connected to MIT are now regarded as close contacts. So far, their tests have come back negative.
City Fitness Papatoetoe gymgoers to be tested today
Health officials are also keeping a close eye on people who were at City Fitness Papatoetoe, which Case M visited on Saturday, February 20 and on Friday February 26.
The Ministry of Health has identified 158 gymgoers linked to the gym, in Hunters Plaza, who are considered to be casual plus contacts.
Of particular importance are those who were at the gym on Friday, when the man visited after getting a Covid test.
Those gymgoers will be up to get a Covid test for the first time today - as testing them either on or after day five is regarded as the prime time to test for the virus after someone has been exposed to an infected person.