Today there are three new confirmed cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand – one of these is an imported case detected in a managed isolation facility. Two are community cases.
Both community cases have been epidemiologically linked to the wider Auckland August cluster. 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 Mount Roskill Evangelical Church sub-cluster.
The one imported case is a young child linked to a previously identified case who arrived from India on 23 August. As a result, the child was already in quarantine with family members at the Auckland quarantine facility.
Since August 11, our contact tracing team has identified 3,222 close contacts of cases, of which 3,177 have been contacted and are self-isolating, and we are in the process of contacting the rest.
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.
There are two people with COVID-19 in hospital today; one in North Shore Hospital’s general ward and one in ICU in Waikato Hospital.
With today’s three new cases, our total number of active cases is 112. Of those, 38 are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 74 are community cases.
One of the previously reported cases is now considered to have recovered.
Our total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is now 1,416, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.
The confirmation, earlier today, of a second death linked to COVID-19 in the last two days means the number of COVID-19 related deaths in New Zealand is now 24.
Yesterday our laboratories nationally processed 9,470 tests for COVID-19, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 807,460.
The Ministry of Health is very sad to report the second COVID-19 related death in as many days.
The Ministry can confirm that the former Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Dr Joseph Williams QSO passed away last night in Auckland City Hospital.
Dr Williams, who was in his 80s, was also a widely regarded member of health services in both New Zealand and the Cook Islands. He was patron of the Pasifika Medical Association.
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield described him as a well-known politician, physician and published author.
“Dr Williams was seen as a leading figure in the Cook Islands medical community and he will be sadly missed.”
Dr Williams was admitted to Auckland City Hospital on 13 August and passed away yesterday evening.
“Our thoughts are with his family and community at this time of loss and grief.
"Today’s sad news again reinforces the importance of our shared vigilance against COVID-19, the very serious consequences the virus can carry with it, and the measures we all need to take to stop the spread, break any chain of transmission and prevent deaths."
This means the number of COVID-19 related deaths in New Zealand is now 24.