There are five new cases of Covid-19 today, according to director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Three are in the community. They are all linked to the Mt Roskill mini cluster.

That grouping has been linked to the wider Auckland cluster.

All these people were already in self-isolation.


One of the new cases in managed isolation was a child, who arrived from Dubai. Both imported cases were detected at the Rydges in Rotorua via routine testing around day 3.

So far 2992 people have been contacted in relation to the cluster.

There are 75 people in managed isolation who are Covid-19 positive. That number is coming down, as people are recovering, Bloomfield says.

There are seven people in hospital - two are in ICU.

There are 128 active cases in New Zealand - 35 were identified in managed isolation.

Some 94 people have been diagnosed in the community.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins and director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield revealed there are five new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, with three linked to the Mt Roskill mini cluster. Video / Pool

There are just two cases that have yet to be linked back to the main Auckland cluster.

The Government still does not know where the source of the outbreak has come from.


In fact, Health Minister Chris Minister said "we might never know".

Bloomfield refused to say it was "highly unlikely" that the latest outbreak came from within a managed isolation or quarantine facility.

This is despite Managed Isolation and Quarantine Minister Megan Woods using those words yesterday.

Hipkins said he did not agree with criticisms by Winston Peters this morning, when he was critical over the Government's Covid-19 response.

The New Zealand First leader relaunched his election campaign at a brewery but instead of taking a swig, he took a swipe at his Government partners.

Hipkins said no country can be 100 per cent perfect in their response, but New Zealand's was some of the best in the world.


Bloomfield says sorry

Bloomfield said there has been a "rapid" review of how wrong testing information went out to the public.

He said a senior officer should have signed off the message - he said that should have happened.

Bloomfield apologised that the message went out, and for any anxiety it caused.

Bloomfield said he is "very keen" to find out the source of the outbreak.

But he said "maybe" we won't find out where it came from.

NZ's testing target

Hipkins said the 70,000 test target has been met - "with a few fluctuations here or there".


He said testing was a "critical part" of New Zealand's response to Covid-19.

Hipkins said he has been "very encouraged" at how the contact tracing system has worked this outbreak.

However, "we cannot rest on our laurels", he said.

So far, two million Kiwis have signed up for the Covid-19 tracer app. That's almost half of all New Zealanders over 15.

In Australia, the update has only been about 24 per cent.

There were 2.4 million scans in New Zealand yesterday, Hipkins said.


There are more developments coming for the app, he said.

That includes Bluetooth, which the Government is still working on.

But he called on all New Zealanders to keep track of their movements.

The Government has produced a new booklet to help with contact tracing for people without smartphones, such as senior citizens.

These can be ordered from the Covid-19 website, he said.

Covid cards

The Covid cards are still underway and are getting back on track, Hipkins said.


He stressed that people's data will always be safe.

Should Aucklanders stay in Auckland?

Hipkins' message to Aucklanders was, keep following the rules.

If people are leaving the city, he said people should behave as if they were still in Auckland.

That means not attending gatherings of more than 10 and wearing masks in public.

Asked about whether Hipkins was comfortable for Aucklanders to visit Queenstown for a conference, he said he wasn't.

"We are asking for goodwill from Aucklanders, for them to play their part," Hipkins said.


Level 2 review

Hipkins said the review of level 2 will still go ahead on September 6.

But no decisions have been made yet - ministers want the most up-to-date data before they make their decisions.

Canterbury DHB dysfunction

Hipkins said the resignation of seven executives on the Canterbury DHB is something the Government is looking into.

Bloomfield met with the board last week and talked to those who were leaving.

He said the Government is focused on supporting the board.

"There are some changes that need to come in Canterbury," he said.

Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield arriving with Health Minister Chris Hipkins for their Covid-19 response. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield arriving with Health Minister Chris Hipkins for their Covid-19 response. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Earlier today, Bloomfield and Hipkins fronted a specially convened health select committee after a call from National and New Zealand First.

The pair declined to answer media questions afterwards – as is the usual convention – instead telling reporters to wait until 1pm for any follow-up questions.

But during the hearing, Hipkins did say that Auckland would be able to move to level 1 without "complete elimination".

National's health spokesman Shane Reti asked why the South Island was still at alert level 2, and Hipkins said there was reasonably free movement, including direct flights from Auckland to Queenstown.

That meant if the South Island was at level 1 and Aucklanders could travel to a large social gathering in the South Island that would "defeat the purpose" of the different alert level settings.

PM Jacinda Ardern comments on a potential South Island move to Level 1. Video / Mark Mitchell

"We were quite comfortable that everybody would be at alert level 2 with a few extra protections for Auckland," Hipkins said.


Higher-risk workers to face weekly Covid tests

Hipkins said at the end of the week a schedule would be released of how often border-facing workers - including airport staff and port workers - will be tested.

Higher-risk workers should be tested weekly, he said. Lower-risk workers will be tested fortnightly, and workers on the periphery will be tested monthly.

"The shipping port is the most complex of all of those operations ... we're working through that process."

Bloomfield said airport workers who were customer-facing and port workers going out to ships were higher risk.

Workers were also checked for symptoms daily, he said.

Hipkins said testing was the last line of defence and the protective measures, including PPE and physical distancing, were also important.