There are two new Covid-19 cases today - one case is in the community and the other is a border case in managed isolation.

The case in managed isolation is a woman in her 30s who arrived from the Philippines via Hong Kong on August 29. She has been in isolation at the Distinction Hotel in Christchurch and tested positive around day 3 of her stay.

Dr William Rainger, director of Auckland Regional Public Health Service, said the community case has been epidemiologically linked to the Auckland cluster.

Rainger said the latest single community case, a 21-year-old male, was a household contact associated with the cases linked to Americold - a cool store company in Auckland.


The vast majority of confirmed cases have been identified through contact tracing and testing as a result of that."

In the last week, it would be "close to zero" for people not picked up through that process.

Rainger said the epidemic curve peaked about two weeks ago, and was undulating downwards.

The current cluster was well contained.

"We would expect to see cases for probably another few weeks."

Health Minister Chris Hipkins said just over 10,000 tests were processed yesterday.

He said Cabinet looked at the nature of the cases seen when making decisions about alert levels. Cases already identified as close contacts and in isolation were not nearly as concerning.

On the decision to move down alert levels, Hipkins said it was important to see testing numbers maintained at high levels.


Asked if the Mt Roskill church members - who are part of a "mini cluster"- had met for prayers or other reasons during lockdown, Hipkins said a couple of dates were being investigated "early in the lockdown" but he didn't know what the outcome of that enquiry had been.

All the known cases in the Auckland cluster were linked genomically or epidemiologically, apart from one case still under investigation.

Since August 11, 3162 close contacts of people in the Auckland cluster had been identified.

Rainger said there were 92 people transferred to Jet Park quarantine facility.

Seven people are in hospital, with five on a ward and two in ICU - in Middlemore and Waikato.

Sixteen cases have recovered - all of which were community cases.


There are 115 active cases; 36 in managed isolation and 79 community cases.

Rainger spoke of the advice for close contacts - get a test, and stay at home in self-isolation for the full 14 days, starting from the day you last had contact with an infected person.

It can take two weeks to show symptoms, he said.

"This is critical to stopping the spread of the virus to other people, if it turns out you do have Covid."

There are Maori and Pacific contact tracers in this team, he said.

At the peak of this outbreak more than 500 people were being contacted a day.


Hipkins said there had been record testing numbers, and he thanked the work of DHBs and other health workforces.

"This outbreak affects all parts of doesn't matter where you live or work, please continue to take action to protect yourselves."

Giving the Covid update live from Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, Hipkins said it was his first visit to Auckland since the reemergence of coronavirus in the community.

Hipkins thanked the contact tracing efforts of the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) - saying it was gold standard and a critical tool in helping contain the latest outbreak.

Hipkins asked Aucklanders travelling outside of the region to follow the same rules as they would if they were at home.

"Wear a mask when you are in public...we are seeing great use of them on public transport."


"Most important of all - stay home if you are sick. And if you are showing symptoms, please get a test."

From 11.59pm tonight it will be compulsory for the Covid tracer QR codes to be on public transport, including taxis and Uber.

Hipkins said the Ministry had issued six alerts to people using the Covid app.

He said he had received a number of letters from people worried that Covid vaccination would be compulsory - something he said was misinformation and entirely untrue.

Hipkins was asked about bus drivers not wearing masks, and said drivers should be and steps would be taken to make sure that was happening.

Bus drivers could be fined, "but we are working on encouragement".


Hipkins was asked if NCEA exams could be delayed, and said "we are constantly looking at that...we are always getting feedback."

At alert level 2 it is safe to send children to school, Hipkins stressed.

My plea to parents, really, is do send you kids back...they are losing valuable learning time."

Yesterday there were five new cases of Covid-19, two in managed isolation and three community cases.

The community cases are all epidemiologically linked to the Mount Roskill Evangelical Church, which has been genomically linked to the larger Auckland cluster. All were already identified as close contacts and in self isolation.

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The wider "Auckland August" cluster numbered 149 as at yesterday, with 94 active cases.


There were seven people with Covid-19 in hospital yesterday; one in Auckland City, two in Middlemore, two in North Shore, and two in Waikato. Five people were on a ward, and two were in ICU – one each in Middlemore and Waikato Hospitals.

The House officially adjourned for the election campaign yesterday. The campaign begins in earnest today, with MPs travelling across the country.

Cabinet will still meet tomorrow to assess the level 2 settings across New Zealand.

The current alert level settings are in place until September 6 – this Sunday.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Government "will always be very cautious" and doesn't want to get ahead of itself when asked about the timing of a potential move to alert level 1.

Ardern spoke to media at the launch of Auckland's Manukau Institute of Technology Construction Centre of Vocational Excellence.


Acknowledging a question about the changing of alert levels, Ardern said they would be considering things over the next few days - including the number of active cases appearing each day.

"We will always be very cautious...we don't want to get ahead of ourselves," she said.

Auckland is at what Ardern has described as alert level 2.5 while the rest of the country is at alert level 2.

Ardern once again called for people not to get together for any large gatherings.

Ardern acknowledged that such times when that was more likely to happen were during weekends.

"Making sure that we reduce the risk as much as possible - and we know, some of the most at-risk times tend to be at the weekends, for instance.


"So that's why I implore again, Aucklanders, to apply those rules.

"Please don't join gatherings of more than 10 people, think carefully about your activities, stay safe."

Ardern also touched on the partners and family members of New Zealand citizens or permanent residents who are still overseas and not eligible to enter the country.

She said that issue did need to be "the next cab off the rank".