There are three new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today.

Two are in the community and one is a returning traveller at a managed isolation facility.

Both community cases are epidemiologicaly linked to the wider Auckland cluster, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

The cluster claimed two lives yesterday, taking the country's death toll to 24.

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"One case has been linked as a close contact to the Americold household sub-cluster and the other is a close contact of a confirmed case linked to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Church sub-cluster."

Today there are two people in hospital, one in North Shore Hospital's general ward and one in ICU in Waikato Hospital.

The new case in managed isolation is a child linked to a previously identified case who arrived from India on August 23.

"As a result, the child was already in quarantine with family members at the Auckland quarantine facility."

Since August 11 the ministry's contact tracing team has identified 3222 close contacts of cases, of which 3,177 have been contacted and are self-isolating.

"There are 77 people linked to the community cluster who remain at the Auckland quarantine facility, which includes 60 people who have tested positive for Covid-19," the ministry said.

Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield preparing for an earlier Covid briefing. Photo / Pool
Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield preparing for an earlier Covid briefing. Photo / Pool

Today's three new cases means there are currently 112 active cases - 38 in managed isolation and 74 community cases.

"One of the previously reported cases is now considered to have recovered.

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"Our total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 is now 1416, which is the number we report to the World Health Organisation."

Yesterday, laboratories nationwide processed 9470 tests for Covid-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 807,460.

Yesterday there were five new cases, three of them in the community, and two in managed isolation facilitates; six people in hospital; and 152 in the Auckland August cluster.

But since yesterday's 1pm update by director general of health Ashley Bloomfield, two deaths related to the cluster have been confirmed.

A man his 50s died at Middlemore Hospital yesterday morning, and former Cook Islands Prime Minister and general practitioner Dr Joe Williams, 82, died at Auckland City Hospital last night.

They are the 23rd and 24th Covid-19 deaths in New Zealand and the first since May 24.

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Auckland was forced into alert level 3 lockdown after the latest outbreak was first confirmed in four people on August 11, after 102 days of having no Covid-19 detected in the community.

Travel restrictions were relaxed on Sunday as it moved from level 3 to 2, although under an alert level informally called 2.5, social gatherings in the Auckland region are limited to 10 people.

Dwayne Johnson shared a video on Instagram sharing how his family was hit by COVID-19 and urging people to wear masks and 'control the controllables.' Video / TheRock

The rest of the country remains at alert level 2, which means social gatherings of up to 100 people are allowed.

Wearing masks is now mandatory on public transport and planes, and recommended in areas in which social distancing may be difficult, such as in shops.

Under alert level 2, physical distancing should be two metres in public and stores such as supermarkets, and one metre in other places such as workplaces, cafes, restaurants and gyms.