Today is the seventh day at level 3 for Auckland and any increase in the number of cases is likely to occur today and in the days to come due to more movement in the town of Sales.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Chief Health Officer Ashley Bloomfield provide the latest case counts as of 1 p.m. today. You can watch the press conference live here.
Ardern is also expected to announce changes to Auckland’s border rules, including more groups of people who will be allowed to travel from level 3 to level 2.
Twelve new cases were reported yesterday, all in Auckland except two of them epidemiologically linked.
Seven unrelated cases have been reported in the past fortnight.
Bloomfield said yesterday that the seven-day moving average of Covid cases is now 15, down from 17 last week and 19 the week before.
” We are progressing. Many of our clusters are now considered content, or the clusters are dormant, ”he said.
Auckland will remain at Level 3 for another week – until the end of Tuesday next week – with a cabinet meeting on Monday to review alert level settings for the entire country.
The daily case counts reflect what was happening in the community seven to 10 days ago, so today’s numbers and the rest of the week may indicate the impact of moving from level 4 to level 3.
“We are on the edge of the knife right now”
Epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker said it was clear the virus was spread between specific groups and a more targeted approach was needed to quickly eliminate the virus.
“We’re on a razor’s edge right now. “
Without a focused approach, Baker said, Auckland could hover between Tier 2 and Tier 3 for a while.
Yesterday, Ardern said that from the end of October, 150 fully vaccinated passengers will be included in a pilot project to self-isolate at home after traveling abroad.
This would be coupled with a testing and monitoring system, and passengers would not be able to leave their homes or be there unless they were also traveling as part of the same group.
This morning, ACT party leader David Seymour called for an end to regional lockdowns and for Kiwis vaccinated abroad to return home by Christmas.
The party this morning released its COVID 3.0 strategy, which will aim to minimize losses by shifting the focus from zero cases.
This meant removing the lockdown entirely and “isolating entire cities to isolate only those that make sense to isolate.”
To enable this, we must also move away from “old fears and uncertainties” towards freedom; a shift from government that knows best to openness and inclusion of businesses; and a comprehensive strategic shift from public health to well-being.
The National Party is releasing its COVID-19 strategy tomorrow, but party leader Judith Collins said this morning she would allow fully vaccinated kiwis to return home by Christmas.