There is one new case of Covid-19 in the community today - the last data Cabinet ministers considered as they met to decide whether to lower alert levels.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that everywhere outside Auckland will likely move to alert level 1 at 11.59pm on Monday September 21. Auckland is to remain at alert level 2.5 and this will be reviewed that same day.

Today's sole new case is a girl aged 5-9 who is epidemiologically linked to an existing case associated with the Botany sub-cluster which has been genomically linked to the Auckland cluster.

The child has been in isolation since August 30 due to being a household contact of a confirmed case, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.


Jet Park quarantine worker likely infected at hotel

Yesterday's reported case of a healthcare worker from the Jet Park quarantine facility has been genomically sequenced by ESR.

The case is genomically linked to three cases who have been staying at the quarantine facility that are linked to the Auckland cluster.

This result reinforces that the Jet Park facility is the most likely route of transmission, however the Public Health Unit will continue to investigate how the infection occurred.

The healthcare worker had five household contacts and they all have returned negative test results.

These people will remain in self-isolation for 14 days and will be retested twice.

Nine staff from the quarantine facility have been identified as close contacts, were tested, and have all returned a negative result. However, they will also remain in self-isolation for 14 days and get retested.

Today three people are in hospital with Covid-19 – one is in isolation on a ward in Auckland City Hospital.

Two patients are in intensive care at North Shore and Waikato hospitals.

With today's new case and two additional recovered cases, the total number of active cases is 96.


Of those, 39 are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 57 are community cases.

There are now 53 people linked to the community cluster who remain in the Auckland quarantine facility. This includes 29 people who had tested positive for Covid-19 and their household contacts.

Since August 11, the ministry's contact tracing team has identified 3708 close contacts of cases, of which 3697 have been contacted and are self-isolating.

The rest were currently being contacted.

The total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 was now 1447.

Yesterday laboratories processed 3573 tests - bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 868,042.


Yesterday there were two new cases of Covid-19 announced - one in managed isolation, the other a health care worker at Jet Park Hotel.

Hospital grade cleaning of parts of the Jet Park quarantine facility were yesterday under way after positive test.

The worker was tested on Friday morning as part of routine testing for border staff and returned a positive result on Saturday.

Five household contacts connected to the person were in isolation at their home and were also tested.

The other positive case was a returnee in managed isolation who arrived from South Africa on September 8 and remains in quarantine in Canterbury.

There were yesterday 33 cases in the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship Church group and 15 cases in the bereavement events sub-cluster; 98 per cent of the church congregation have now been tested, as have 98 per cent of those attending the bereavement events.


As for whether the country should move down alert levels, University of Otago epidemiologist Michael Baker earlier told the Herald it was too soon for Auckland to drop alert levels, given new cases are rolling in each day.

He wanted it to remain at level 2.5 for at least another two weeks.

However, he believed it might be safe for the rest of New Zealand to potentially move down in restrictions to an alert level 1.5, but said freeing Auckland up soon would be a mistake.

Under the current tailor-made level 2.5, Aucklanders have been able to go to work, shop, travel around the country, and even hold limited gatherings of no more than 10 people.