Cases emerging among Auckland University students and those who went to a church service in Māngere have sealed Auckland's longer lockdown fate – if it wasn't already.
Up until yesterday, there was no indication that any of the 72 cases in the Delta cluster were from any of the crowded, indoor events that have had us all braced for a big surge in case numbers.
But health boss Ashley Bloomfield has now confirmed that at least a handful of cases – including three Wellingtonians - attended the August 15 service at the Samoan Assembly Of God Church.
Delta may also have been passed between university students in Auckland, some of whom were living in a hall of residence, and who went to a ball on August 14.
(Bloomfield initially said Auckland University students, and later clarified that only one Auckland University student has tested positive, while others from AUT have.)
It will now take health officials more time to draw a circle around the contacts of those cases, and any subsequent contacts of subsequent cases.
That means there are zero chances of Auckland moving to level 3 this week.
How long it will stay there remains unclear. We already know that Bloomfield's advice last week was for level 4 in Auckland until at least the end of the month.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern didn't share that information last week, but businesses in Auckland will be looking for an indication of lockdown-length in today's announcement, and what a pathway to level 3, 2 and 1 might look like.
The unknowns include how many contacts there will be - so far there are almost 10,000, most of whom are still awaiting test results - and whether there has been any spread since the lockdown started, such as during illegal protests last week.
This is also why Bloomfield has repeatedly told essential workers to stay home if they've been to locations of interest, and anyone being tested should ditch the supermarket trip on the way home from their test.
There is still too much uncertainty to see the Capital moved to level 3, even though the transmission tail looks much shorter than in Auckland, given there are only six cases, including no new cases yesterday.
The harder question for Ardern will be whether any other part of the country could be moved to level 3.
Public health officials will have a decent handle on some of the boundaries of the outbreak; almost 3 per cent of the total population has been tested in the past six days, with more than 5 per cent in Auckland.
No curveballs in the form of unconnected cases have surfaced, so we may still be dealing with only one chain of transmission.
Ardern will want to have a level of detail that the Ministry of Health hasn't provided publicly, including the locations and numbers of contacts in the South Island, and a regional breakdown of testing numbers.
It's also unclear how many contacts there are from certain locations of interest - such as the church, or at Auckland University - where they are now, and how many have been tested so far.
Even with this detail, it would be a huge call for a cautious Ardern to believe, with confidence, that there are no Delta cases in any part of the country, which would open the door to level 3.
The broader question is whether elimination is still viable.
We've seen it slipping away from New South Wales as daily case numbers there tip towards 1000.
There's no reason to think the lockdown won't work here at this stage, and it has worked in parts of Australia, including Queensland.
Its impact should start to translate into a tailing off in case numbers towards the middle of the week.
If lockdown works and Delta transmissions are eventually extinguished, Ardern will turn to how the country's Covid defences should have been stronger to better reflect a Delta-world.
If it doesn't, case numbers will continue to swell over coming weeks, even though our lockdown rules - made stricter today with mandatory record-keeping - are among the strictest in the world.
With the population still largely unvaccinated, and a health system poorly resourced to handle endemic Covid-19, what would be Ardern's next move?
If the Delta wave is too strong, would she even have a choice?