Four new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Auckland this morning.
One of the four new cases is a workmate of case A, the case announced yesterday. The other three are contacts of this workmate.
One of the three contacts is a fully vaccinated health professional who works at Auckland City Hospital and had been working in recent days.
The Ministry of Health has confirmed the cases in the current outbreak are the highly transmissible Delta variant of the virus.
“The Ministry received the results last night of the genome sequencing for case A. It is the Delta variant. We are undertaking further analysis to see how it could be connected to cases we know about,” the ministry said.
“These developments strongly reinforce the importance of the actions taken last night in the move to level 4 and underpin the importance of everyone keeping to the lockdown conditions.”
From 11.59pm tonight Tuesday 17 August, all of NZ will move to Alert Level 4. This measure will remain in place for 3 days from 11:59pm tonight for all of NZ, with the exception of Auckland & the Coromandel Peninsular, with both staying in Level 4 likely for the next 7 days. pic.twitter.com/4ieTNv6KTu
— Unite against COVID-19 (@covid19nz) August 17, 2021
The ministry is urging anyone in the country with cold and flu symptoms to get tested.
“The key message from the last lockdown remains relevant: ‘stay at home, save lives, be tested’. This will stop any undetected spread in the community,” the ministry said.
“The ministry will be providing its assessment later today about the extent of likely spread in the community and the length of time the virus may have been circulating in the community.
“Only leave your home if you need to, and please wear a mask when you do. We know of instances where people have picked up Delta simply by walking past someone with it.”
In response to the nurse from Auckland City Hospital testing positive, the hospital has taken immediate actions to shut down any potential spread.
“Those actions include stopping unnecessary movements between wards, testing all staff and patients on the ward the health professional worked on and standing down, testing and isolating staff on the same ward,” the ministry said.
Additional details and any further cases will be announced at 1pm NZST.