14 new cases in outbreak; breach fines increased

There are 14 new community cases of Covid-19 to report today, the Ministry of Health has revealed.

The total number of cases in the current Delta outbreak is now at 1085.

All of the cases announced today are being included in the Auckland tally. 

One case in Whakatīwai tested positive, but as this is in the Counties Manukau DHB area it is being included in the Auckland tally.

This case is a household contact of a previous case.

Thirteen of today's new cases are epidemiologically linked, meaning there is just one without a confirmed link at this stage.

"That lower number of 14 cases today is encouraging," Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said.

Based on the number of close household contacts we are expecting about 50 to 60 more cases just with this group, he said.

Dr Bloomfield praised the response from the Upper Hauraki community who went out and got tested.

There are 15 cases of Covid-19 in hospital four of these are in ICU or HDU.

Some 3,248,982 Covid tests have been administered since the pandemic began.

When it comes to vaccines, there have been 4,762,679 doses administered, 3,118,082 first doses and 1,644,597 second doses.

Yesterday 50,196 doses were given, 24,522 first doses and 25,674 second doses.

Upper Hauraki case

Contact tracers are interviewing students at Mangatangi School in a bid to find any unknown transmissions in the community. Two students at the school have tested positive.

Bloomfield said the Section 70 health order covering the north Waikato area near the new cases would allow some people to cross the level 4 boundaries to shop for groceries or get pet supplies.

This would allow them to travel to Pokeno to get essential supplies or further to Middlemore Hospital if they need healthcare. But only to these destinations.

$12,000 maximum penalty for Covid rule breaches

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today outlined heavier fines for those who breach Covid-19 rules.

Much of New Zealand's success against Covid has been the good compliance by most people, she said, but a a small number of people had been breaking the rules, including people who escaped from managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities.

However, once people started getting fined for doing this, it reduced the number of people who tried to break out of MIQ facilities, she said.

Current fines for Covid infringements will move from $300 to $4000 for individuals.

If a court imposes the fines on individuals, the fines will move from $1000 to $12,000.

Funeral rules as Auckland moves to level 3

Auckland will move from alert level 4 down to alert level 3 at 11.59pm today.

Bloomfield said personal travel restrictions would remain very tight for Auckland residents under level 3.

There would be eased restrictions for people going to funerals, but it will require an exemption from the Ministry of Health.

These would only be offered in limited numbers and would only be given to immediate families.

Vaccine trial for children

Bloomfield also noted very positive results from Pfizer's vaccine trials among children.

While the results were early, it was still promising news, he said.

The children were given vaccines about three weeks apart and it generated similar antibodies among them as it did among adults.

Bloomfield said medical regulators would act as fast as possible at the appropriate time to approve the vaccine for children if results remained favourable.

Comments

Bit of a joke, when was the last time you saw a judge give the max fine or sentence for anything. People will continue to breach lockdown because they have observed nothing really happens apart from name suppression, a bit of a talking to and a gentle stroke on the wrist with a wet bus ticket.

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