The Ministry of Health has apologised after publicly identifying people in two clusters who have contracted coronavirus.

Two Hutt City clusters were named after those infected and published on the ministry website, but were changed when the mistake was realised.

One of those affected told the Herald they didn't want to be named as they were trying to protect their child.

A ministry spokeswoman said it sincerely apologised for its actions.


"The ministry inadvertently named on its website two clusters in a way that allowed two individuals to be identified," she said.

"As soon as it was realised the information was removed."

The number of clusters of coronavirus has doubled since Monday, with the ministry now investigating 14 groups of the virus.

An Air Force rugby team US visit is the largest new cluster, with nine infections.

The largest cluster - cases linked because they have been in the same place together - is Auckland's Marist College, with 48 confirmed and probable cases.

One member of Alzheimers Marlborough has been infected in a cluster of six cases in the area.

Other significant new clusters include a Bluff wedding, which has eight cases.

The cluster from the World Hereford Conference in Queenstown has also increased, with 24 cases now, up from 19 yesterday.


There are now 647 confirmed and probable cases of Covid-19 nationally, with 58 new cases announced today.

The new cases are made up of 48 new confirmed and 10 probable Covid-19 cases.

Fourteen people are in hospital - two of them in a stable condition in intensive care units.

Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said there was still a strong link to overseas travel and contact with already confirmed cases.

Clusters would be investigated and contact-traced, he said.

Today's new statistics also show Southern District Health Board now has the highest number of cases, with 98, with Auckland DHB recording 97 cases and Waitematā 86. Tairāwhiti has the lowest number, with one case recorded.

Focus: An urgent testing station has been setup in Matamata as cases spike in the small town. Video / Alan Gibson

The age group most affected is 20 to 29 years, with 169 cases.

Women so far are disproportionately impacted - 350 cases compared with 289 in men. Eight are not specified. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website