Covid-19 Delta outbreak: Cabinet set to reveal any change in alert levels, Waikato resident leaves house after testing positive

Two more Covid cases have been confirmed in Waikato today.

Ōtorohanga mayor Max Baxter said this morning there are two more people with Covid-19 in the town.

The two latest cases were both expected and were linked to people in the existing outbreak that has hit the King Country.

Baxter said they were both isolating.

And he warned there were likely to be more sick people in the community this week.

“I am sure there will be more cases announced in the coming days,” said Baxter.

Cabinet to meet on Waikato, Auckland alert levels

The new cases are bad news as Cabinet is set to consider the alert levels for Waikato and Auckland today.

Ministers are meeting to discuss the dire Covid-19 modelling showing Auckland could hit 200 community cases a day this month, just a few hours before announcing a decision on any change to alert levels.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will announce the decisions at the 4pm post-Cabinet press conference.

The prediction comes as fresh details have emerged about a Waikato resident who tested positive for the virus and then left their house after being told they had Covid-19.

A Te Awamutu local went out visiting after receiving a phone call telling them they had tested positive for Covid, the Waikato DHB has confirmed.

The DHB became aware that the positive case had left their home and they were subsequently tracked down several hours at another house.

The Waikato DHB is now supporting the people at that second household visited just over a week ago, while the visitor was potentially infectious.

A Waikato DHB spokesman said the person was notified by phone that they had tested positive for Covid, but at that stage had not had any discussions with public health officials about where they should isolate.

The resident is now isolating in the Hamilton Community Isolation Quarantine facility based at the Distinction Hotel in Te Rapa.

The Prime Ministerrevealed this morning that current modelling showed there could be a peak of up to 200 community cases per day this month.

She told Three’s AM Show that she would be sharing that updated modelling expectation at the post-Cabinet press conference, scheduled at 4pm today.

She declined to discuss what Cabinet would decide later today on Waikato and Auckland’s alert levels – the latter currently in an alert level 3 phase one situation.

Despite that expected jump in community cases, Ardern said modellers believe this month would start to show the impact of vaccinations.

She did, however, say there was a sense of caution about really seeing what the impacts a double-vaccinated population of 80 per cent plus would have on case numbers.

Prior to moving to the traffic light system, Cabinet would still be looking at the “step downs” before hitting the 90 per cent vaccination target. The next step was around when retail stores would open up.

“Essentially, those are the considerations for us – do we believe what’s happening now is predictable.”

At the moment, case numbers were travelling fairly predictably, but they had to be careful because they didn’t want to make a “mis-step” before hitting the peak. In terms of reaching the 90 per cent vaccination target, things were tracking really well in Auckland, she said.

Covid modeller warns against relax in alert levels

Covid-19 modeller Shaun Hendy told TVNZ’s Breakfast show that we had another “couple of weeks” of community case numbers rising.

“It is quite concerning,” he said.

If the case numbers got up to 200 to 300 cases a day, that would put a lot of strain on the health system in Auckland.

On any potential drop down of alert levels, Hendy said that should not happen – and even said that a circuit breaker at this stage could really bring the number of unlinked community cases down.

“I don’t think we can relax… until we start to see those numbers drop.”

Two Auckland high schools shut after positive cases confirmed

Today’s announcement will come as two high schools in Auckland have been closed today after positive cases were discovered.

Mt Albert Grammar School told parents last night that a student has tested positive for the virus. The student had attended classes between Tuesday and Thursday last week.

Year 11-13 students will resume online learning from today.

In East Auckland, Macleans College announced through its school website that a staff member had tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday but had not been in contact with students.

However, senior students will return to online learning today and Tuesday while staff members get tested.

The school has said Year 11 students will return tomorrow while NCEA students will complete their practice exams online, from home, tomorrow. Junior students are remaining at home until further notice.

Where to get a vaccination in Auckland – without a booking

This map shows large vaccinations centres from the Unite again Covid-19 information page. For more detailed information about your neighbourhood visit Healthpoint.

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