There are 49 new cases of Covid-19 in the community, bringing the total number of cases to 612.

Photo: 123rf.com

Health Director-General Dr Ashley Bloomfield said all of the new cases were in Auckland.

“It further reassures us that our public health efforts are slowing the spread of the virus,” Bloomfield said.

Of the new cases, 66% are family contacts, he said.

“Of yesterday’s cases, only 23% are considered contagious in the community.”

Bloomfield said a corrections officer at the Springfield Correctional Center tested positive for Covid-19 and 23 staff members had been in contact with that person. All were isolated.

About 120 people at the Waikato facility were in contact with the person and they had been separated now, he said.

The detainees were also tested.

The officer who tested positive was fully vaccinated and asymptomatic.

In this epidemic, 51 of the cases do not yet have an epidemiological link.

Of today’s cases, only 19 had not previously been linked.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she wants the number of declining cases to continue to drop.

“We want the tail of this outbreak to be as short as possible,” she said.

“Every day for me is another step, a little bit of progress, but I want to see sustained reductions… we still have a way to go.”

Of the current Auckland epidemic, six cases are less than a year old.

“If you can be vaccinated, get vaccinated on behalf of the tamariki,” Ardern said.

There are 33 people hospitalized, eight in intensive care and two in ventilation.

Bloomfield said none of the young children infected in the outbreak were hospitalized.

The youngest hospitalized case is 18 years old. Bloomfield said most of those hospitalized were in an older age group.

Two-thirds of current cases are under 30 years old.

Yesterday, 16,755 tests were processed.

The high rate of testing is important for confidence in detecting any case of Covid-19 in the community, Bloomfield said.

“It is important for anyone who needs health care to do it as needed. Don’t delay care.”

We may never know how the virus entered the community during the last outbreak, Bloomfield said.

Ardern said she stayed awake at night thinking about how that could have happened.

“Now there are theories without person-to-person contact,” she said.

Yesterday, the number of new cases slowed to 53, from 83 on Sunday and 82 on Saturday.

Announcing the two-week lockdown for Auckland yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Alert Level 4 was making a difference but the work was “not yet done”.

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