Coronavirus: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Saturday, August 21

New Zealand is currently at alert level 4 nationwide, until at least 11:59pm Tuesday. Experts generally expect it to be lengthened - particularly in Auckland, where most of the cases are.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Dr Caroline McElnay revealed on Saturday there are 21 new cases of COVID-19 in the community, taking the country's total to 51. Officials are also confident that the August 7 MIQ case is the source of the outbreak. 

A number of new locations of interest have been posted, including Auckland University of Technology's (AUT) City Campus and De la Salle College.

You can recap yesterday's events here.

What you need to know:

  • New Zealand's nationwide alert level 4 lockdown has been extended until 11:59pm on Tuesday, August 24. 
  • There are 21 new cases of COVID-19, taking the country's total to 51. Three of the cases announced on Saturday are in Wellington and the rest are in Auckland. 
  • Australia has placed New Zealand in its travel red zone, meaning Kiwis heading across the Tasman will now have to go into MIQ. 
  • The cluster has been linked to a returnee from Sydney who arrived in Auckland on August 7. An investigation is underway to determine the missing link between the returnee and Case A
  • The COVID-19 vaccine is now also available to supermarket workers and 12 to 15-year-olds, who can now be booked in with their parents - or booked separately from September 1.

Newshub's live updates for Saturday have finished.

7:35pm - The lockdown woes of New Zealand are being felt 18,000 kilometres away.

In London, where there are thousands of new cases every day, but no restrictions, there are now growing concerns that the Kiwi outbreak will affect emergency applications for MIQ slots.

Read more here

7:10pm - The Prime Minister has defended the pace at which locations of interest are released to the public after Wellington Mayor Andy Foster said it was "frustrating".

It comes amid three more community cases in Wellington - taking the total to six - and the list of locations of interest in the capital continues to slowly climb.

Read more here.

6:40pm - Newshub can reveal that, as of 10am on Saturday, since Tuesday just 1604 COVID Tracer app users received location alerts because they scanned in at a location of interest at the relevant time. That's despite there being more than 5000 confirmed contacts.

Read more here

6pm - It's time for Newshub Live at 6, with all the latest on the COVID-19 outbreak. Watch it here or on Three.

5:45pm - Royal Oak Intermediate in Auckland says there is a COVID-19 case linked to the school - a bus driver.

"ARPHS are currently contact-tracing a case who is a bus driver on one of our school runs. The driver of Bus 003 was positive for COVID-19 while driving Royal Oak Intermediate students home from school on Friday 13th, Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th of August.

"We have emailed all families and are currently working to identify the students who were on the bus in question. These students are considered close contacts, and will be required to follow Ministry of Health guidelines for getting tested and self-isolating. If you have not received an email please contact Tony on if your child went home on Bus 003 on the above dates.

"Our thoughts are with those affected by this, and we are offering support to all staff, students, whānau and members of our community."

5:20pm - New South Wales has reported another 825 locally acquired cases of COVID-19, the biggest daily case load in the outbreak to date.

Only 149 have been linked to known cases or clusters, with the origin of 676 still under investigation. At least 58 were infectious while out in the community, with the status of 637 still unknown.

Read more here

4:55pm - In case you missed it earlier - A security guard at a Christchurch supermarket is being tested for COVID-19 after a customer spat at him after being refused entry.

Read more here.

4:30pm - The University of Auckland has released a list of locations a case visited while infectious. It includes several classes as well as the Waipārūrū Ball, which was attended by around 500 people.

Coronavirus: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Saturday, August 21

4:15pm - Applications for the COVID-19 wage subsidy are now open - and to get them processed as quickly as possible, we've got answers to frequently asked questions below.

Read more here.

3:55pm - New Zealand's largest drive-through vaccination centre is set to open on Sunday at Auckland Airport's park and ride site.

The Northern Region Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC) says it will be the first drive-through centre in the metro Auckland region, capable of vaccinating up to 2000 people per day to begin with.

Read more here

3:35pm - There are now well over 200 locations of interest across Auckland, parts of Wellington, the Coromandel and the central North Island.

On Saturday, it was announced the Delta variety of COVID-19 had infected 21 more people, taking New Zealand's tally of active community cases to 51.

Naturally, more cases means more places where people may have been exposed to the virus - and the Ministry of Health has now updated its list with dozens more locations.

Read more here.

3:25pm - The New Zealand Nurses Organisation has released a statement:

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) says the fact that nurses who live with close contacts are being asked to turn up for work at Auckland’s DHBs, and monitor themselves for symptoms in the meantime, shows how desperate the health system is in terms of short staffing.

On Friday 20 August the Ministry of Health issued an exemption for essential health workers from the need to fully self-isolate as long as certain conditions were met.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has said hospitals are identifying the lowest-risk people they can have working at the moment so our health system can continue to function.

But NZNO Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku says there is a clear public health order that housemates of close contacts are required to self-isolate and they are still required to do so because they are a health risk.

"The health direction to self-isolate is there for good reason and there should be no exceptions."

Ms Nuku said nurses, midwives, health care assistants and kaimahi hauora working in DHBs have been speaking out about unsafe staffing for decades.

"Successive governments have not listened, and nurses have just been told over and over to do more with less. The result of this is what you see now, where the Government has changed the Ministry of Health’s public health advice because the DHBs don’t have enough staff.

"It just makes no sense and further underscores the very urgent need to address short staffing by recognising and rewarding nursing so it’s a job people will want to do."

She said nurses staying away from work because they live with close contacts is also a protection for them, and that nurses were as entitled to that protection as anybody else.

3:10pm - Newshub Digital's managing editor Mark Longley writes that Jacinda Ardern's management of the COVID-19 crisis "has been generally excellent", but that she needs to "stop spinning the vaccination programme".

Read his opinion piece here

3pm - Auckland Airport has commented on the drive-through vaccination centre planned to start on Sunday that will be hosted at the Park and Ride site.

"This drive-up, mass-vaccination site will be a huge boost for getting more people protected from COVID-19, and Auckland Airport is really pleased to be providing our Park & Ride facility to help make it happen," a spokesperson said.

"We’ve been supporting health authorities to prepare the site, including getting power connected for the fridges that will hold vaccinations. Our staff members will also be providing support services to help the centre run as smoothly as possible during the week."

2:50pm - New statement from police:

New Zealand Police continue to ask people to stick to the rules of Alert Level 4 over the weekend.

We know from previous experience that New Zealanders, by and large, comply with the restrictions, and we know that following the guidelines does work but we do need compliance.

Even though it’s the weekend, we remind people that exercise should be in your neighbourhood only.

Under Alert Level 4 restrictions, you are not permitted to drive somewhere for the purposes of exercising.

Our staff are out and about around the country conducting reassurance checks, and people can expect to be questioned about their movements.

Police has a low tolerance of unlawful gatherings and people can expect that we will look to enforce the current restrictions.

Since Alert Level 4 came into place, Police staff have carried out 2964 reassurance checks at essential facilities (petrol stations, pharmacies, supermarkets).

Over that same period, 4015 prevention and reassurance patrols were completed, along with 2214 business checks in relation to the pandemic response.

While compliance overall has been good, there is a small minority of people who have come to the attention of Police and the actions of these people are incredibly disappointing.

Since Alert Level 4 came into place, 17 people have been charged with a total of 20 offences nationwide.

Of the 20 charges filed, 11 are for Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19), 7 for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction and 2 for Health Act Breaches.

In the same time period, 53 formal warnings were issued (to 53 people).

13 of the formal warnings were for Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19), 16 for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction and 24 for Health Act Breaches.

Police have received a total of 3,318 - 105 online breach notifications.

1776 were about a gathering, 1259 were about a business, and 283 were about a person.

In addition to the 105 online breach reports, a total of 2,663 Covid-19 related calls were made to the 105-phone line.

The majority (72%) of calls were requests for information, and 28 percent were to report perceived Covid-19 breaches.

From 19 August 2021, Police began issuing infringements for COVID-19 related breaches.

As at 5:00pm on 20 August 2021, Police have issued 70 infringements nationwide.

The breakdown of these offences is as follows:

  • Obstruct/Hinder Medical Officer of Health or Person Assisting Med Officer - 4
  • Person failed to remain at current home / residence – 61
  • Person failed to comply with applicable physical distancing rule – 4
  • Person failed to wear a face covering - 5

We have all seen what happens overseas when people ignore the rules, and it’s imperative that everyone stays home.

Everyone knows what is expected of them, and it will take a collective effort to stop COVID-19 in its tracks.

2:40pm - Police have arrested two people at an anti-lockdown protest at Auckland's Aotea Square.

There were about 30 people gathered in small groups at Aotea Square from 11:30am on Saturday. 

"Police engaged and encouraged the groups to comply with Alert Level 4 restrictions, however, two people were taken into custody when they refused to do so," a spokesperson said.

"The two women, aged 41 and 69, were arrested under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Act.

"Charging decisions are still being finalised."

2:35pm - Lynfield College in Auckland's Mount Roskill has been added to the locations of interest list for August 16 (8:45am to 3pm) and August 17 (8:45am to 3pm). A number of other locations have also been listed. Find them all here.

2:30pm - ACT's David Seymour says the 1pm update brought "good news about the situation but also questions about the Government's response".

"For the most part tests are negative, and genomic sequencing points to only one cluster, while contacts traced so far are mainly in Auckland," he said. "We are having good fortune, but questions about the Government’s response keep cropping up."

"The record vaccination day of 56,843 doses yesterday is what New Zealand needs, in fact needed months ago, but it raises a question of supply. As of Sunday there were 286,020 doses warehoused, a rate of 56,843 does per day would exhaust that supply in exactly five days. Has the Government got sufficient supply of doses to maintain this rate, and if not what is its plan?"

Seymour says the Government was scrambling to get wastewater testing rolled out. 

"Two days ago Ashley Bloomfield said there are 26 wastewater testing sites, but nasopharyngeal testing is what matters. Today Caroline McElnay said there are now 41 sites with more being rolled out, and nasopharyngeal testing is being popped up in Warkworth because of a positive wastewater result.

"The lack of clarity for essential services is astonishing after 18-months. The Government has opened up to couriering all manner of items, but butchers remain shut. It is extraordinary that, if anything, the rules have become less sensible. If the Government’s goal is to minimise contact, it is not obvious why butchers, bakers, and greengrocers cannot operate, but dairies and supermarkets can.

"There is a looming question about the demands being put on health workers. The Roche report into the February Outbreak said: ‘Strategies for addressing tiredness and burnout, while injecting freshness and ongoing self-reflection and self-criticism should be evident and implemented at all levels.’ It’s good that Ardern is praising frontline workers, but this outbreak is much bigger than February, with thousands taken out of circulation while waiting for test results. Is the Government ensuring the past few days are sustainable?"

2:20pm - The Northern Region Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC) will open the country's largest drive-through vaccination centre on Sunday at the Park and Ride site at the airport in south Auckland.

It's the first drive-through centre in the metro Auckland region and attendance will be by invitation only. It will be able to vaccinate up to 2000 people per day, with the potential to increase over the coming week.

This will be a great way for a large number of people to be vaccinated safely with their bubble under Alert level 4.

"This will be a great way for a large number of people to be vaccinated safely with their bubble under Alert level 4," said Matt Hannant, the NRHCC programme director.

"It can work particularly well for families as they can come together and get vaccinated in the familiar environment of their own family vehicle."

Invitations will be sent in a phased approach over the coming days to essential workers as well as those who were unable to attend their appointments during the move to Alert level 4 and who have not yet rebooked.

"The drive-through centre will be by appointment only, so we ask that people who haven’t received an invitation yet to stay at home and follow the alert level guidelines.

"It’s really important that we can prioritise our essential workers, such as supermarket workers and bus drivers, who are helping to keep important services open during Alert level 4."

2:05pm - The number of major retailers and other businesses being accused by staff of putting their safety at risk continues to grow, and officials are warning they could face penalties if they're found to have breached alert level 4 guidelines. 

In the past few days, Newshub has reported on complaints targeting big-box retailers Harvey Norman, Kmart, the Warehouse and Noel Leeming, but they're far from the only stores where staff aren't happy.

Newshub's Dan Satherley investigated. Read more here.

1:50pm - There are a number of new locations of interest. They include Spark Arena, several petrol stations in the central North Island, flight NZ443 from Auckland to Wellington last Thursday and Manakau Super Strike Bowling. You can find the full list here

Four of the locations of interest are in the central North Island. They are the first outside Auckland, Wellington or the Coromandel Peninsula. 

  • BP Funnell St, Bulls on Monday August 16 between 9:30pm and 10pm
  • Waiouru Public Toilets on State Highway 1, Waiouru on Monday August 16 between 6:40pm and 7pm
  • Z Petrol Station Waiouru on Monday August 16 between 6:30pm and 7pm
  • BP Tokoroa on Monday August 16 between 3pm and 4pm

1:40pm - Ardern says it is very likely Auckland will continue to see some form of restrictions past next Tuesday. She wouldn't speculate on restrictions for the rest of the country.

1:35pm - Ardern says she is cautious with discussing specific modelling early on in outbreaks, as it can jump around, but we have not yet hit our case number peak. 

While there are a large number of contacts, Ardern says they should all be in lockdown and isolating at the moment. There is also a larger than normal number of contacts as officials are being more cautious with Delta and putting broader times for locations of interest to make sure they get everyone. 

Dr McElnay says she isn't aware of any "under-use" of the COVID Tracer app. Interviews - and therefore getting the locations of interest - can take more time with contacts and cases if they haven't been using the app, she says.

1:30pm - The Prime Minister says compliance and reducing contact is critical. Compliance has been "outstanding", with similar reductions in traffic and movement to last year's nationwide lockdown.

However, since alert level 4 began, 17 people have been charged with 20 offences. Eleven offences are for failing to comply with the COVID order, seven for failing to comply with direction, prohibition and restriction and two for Health Act breaches. A total of 53 formal warnings have been issued. There have been 70 infringements issued nationwide, including for failing to stay at home. 

Ardern says officials don't want to put up inaccurate locations of interest on the website. The website is also not the only way officials communicate with contacts. 

1:25pm - It's not surprising the case total has grown, Ardern says. It will continue to rise through to next week before it begins falling, she tells reporters. 

The virus can continue to spread during lockdown if people break the rules, she says. This is why people should stick to their bubble.

Ardern says she's been informed people being contact traced are being found to be at home. 

On locations of interest, Ardern says locations listed prior to August 7 (when the suspected source arrived in MIQ) are being removed from the Ministry of Health website. That's because officials are confident the August 7 case is the source. 

1:20pm - COVID-19 has been found in a sample from the Warkworth wastewater. Anyone who has been at a location of interest at a relevant time or has symptoms in that area should get tested, she says. Extra testing will take place at Warkworth and Snells Beach this weekend.

There have been no unexpected detections of COVID-19 at other wastewater stations. COVID has, as expected, been found in Auckland wastewater. 

She says 829 Waitemata DHB staff have been tested. All returned results are negative. There are 208 results still pending. There were 137 staff who may have been in contact with a positive case at North Shore Hospital. Of these, 84 have so far returned a negative result. Of patients who were in the same area as the positive patient,  20 are in hospital and all have returned negative results.

1:15pm - Dr McElnay reveals New Zealand has 21 new cases of COVID-19 in the community. That takes the total associated with the Auckland outbreak to 51, she says. Three of these are in Wellington (one reported on Friday) and the rest are in Auckland. Twenty-one of the 51 are confirmed as part of the cluster, with investigations underway into the others. In the vast majority of cases, there is a suspected link, she says. 

Sequencing has been completed on 29 cases, including three Wellington cases, and all are genomically linked to the Auckland cluster. 

Dr McElnay reminds that isolating means isolating away from other household members.

The number of contacts has increased "significantly". As of 10am, there are 5065 individual contacts, which is expected to increase, she says. Another 5000 are expected by the end of the day. Most of these are in Auckland and Waikato. A small number are found across the rest of the county. 

She says locations of interest will be updated when possible. It can take to ensure their accuracy, she says. 

1:10pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Dr Caroline McElnay have arrived.

Ardern begins with the "good news" that Friday had the most vaccines administered in a single day - 56,843 - with 72 percent of Kiwis aged 40+ booked or have been vaccinated with at least one dose. There were also the most COVID tests processed in a single day - 41,463.

She says this is "extraordinary" and what we need to do to get on top of the virus. But we do need to continue to "test, test, test". To take the pressure off the system, four new pop-up testing centres in Auckland have started operating, she says. Three pop-ups began overnight in Wellington. There are other sites for priority testing that aren't being publicly advertised. 

1pm - There are three new locations of interest:

  • Countdown Newtown, Mount Cook, Wellington on Friday August 20 8:05am to 9:45am
  • Asian Food Specialist, Kilbirnie, Wellington on Thursday August 19 4:45pm to 6pm
  • Pak'N Save Kilbirne, Wellington on Thursday August 19 11:40am to 12:55pm

12:45pm - Just a reminder that Newshub will be streaming the 1pm press conference from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Dr Caroline McElnay. We will also be airing that on Three.

12:35pm - Several more locations of interest have been added. They include school buses to Onehunga, De la Salle High School, and a dental clinic. Find them here

12:25pm - Victims and survivors of family violence are being urged to seek help, even though the country is in lockdown.

Chief Victims Advisor Kim McGregor said the police and other support agencies were essential services, so they continued to operate.

Read more here

12:10pm - There are four new locations of interest:

  • Lumino Glenfield Dental Care - Tuesday August 17 2:50pm - 6pm
  • Roscommon Superette Manurewa - Sunday August 15 1pm - 1:30pm
  • Bus 129 Don Buck Rd Massey to Auckland CBD - Friday August 13 7:50am - 8:30am 
  • AUT City Campus - Wednesday August 11 9:30am - 8:30pm

12:05pm- A second student at AUT has tested positive for COVID-19. It emerged earlier this week that a student there had received a positive test result.

An email sent to students says the case attended five classes last week on the City Campus during their infectious period.

12pm - Judith Collins is calling on the Government to let Kiwis know sooner, rather than later, whether the lockdown will extend beyond Tuesday.

But Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson says they're waiting to see how case numbers go over the weekend before making a decision. 

Read more here.

11:30am - Police were called to a Countdown Store in Christchurch after a person spat on a security guard. 

Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager of Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability said in a statement the customer, who had previously been barred from the store became abusive after he was refused entry. .

"We had a recent incident at our Church Corner store in Christchurch when a customer, who had previously been trespassed for abusive behaviour, was refused entry.  

"This customer spat on the security guard and refused to leave the store. The police attended and apprehended the customer. The security guard is being tested for COVID-19 and being supported during this process. 

"It is always incredibly disappointing when our team are subject to abusive behaviour, but it is particularly distressing when this involves spitting at a time when the country is experiencing a community outbreak of COVID-19.

"Generally New Zealanders are doing a great job at following the rules, which is fantastic. We have definitely seen some customers refusing masks and being difficult and sometimes abusive to our team in the last few days, and we’d continue to ask people to respect our team, treat them with kindness, and wear a mask or face covering.”

Coronavirus: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Saturday, August 21
Photo credit: Church Corner Countdown in Christchurch

10:52am - Collins told Newshub Nation the Government should set vaccination targets and be held accountable to them. 

"We believe that the Government should be setting a target because they have just about every epidemiologist in the country… we're not the ones in Government.

"Those are the questions you could ask the Government. What is their target? All they've said so far is a "big amount", whatever that means. Give people something to work to.

"By the way, Kiwis love getting behind something like a target. We love trying to get to be there. So give us a target and we'll work to it."

10:40am - National Party leader Judith Collins said putting the country into lockdown was the right move by the Government but called for more certainty over how long we will be at level 4. 

"It's obviously a border failure and with such low vaccination rates I don't think there's any alternative - at least for the next few days."

"Certainty is really helpful for people - not only people in business and small businesses, but also for people just trying to go about their lives. A lack of certainty, waiting for a one o'clock announcement every day, this actually adds to the anxiety - it doesn't actually help people that much."

10:20am - Wellington Mayor Andy Foster says Sky Stadium Carpark is being used as a testing station to help with capacity.

Foster told Newshub if Wellingtonians need a test they can head along there. 

Sky Stadium is one of a number of pop-up testing sites in the city, a full list is available here.

10:00am - The Finance Minister said there was enough money in the COVID relief fund to support business throughout this lockdown, despite it being used to for non-COVID related issues such as cameras on boats and school lunches. 

 "Obviously those decisions were made some time ago, but yes we do. We've allocated money for business support for example, not all of which has been spent, we can allocate and use that now. 

"We have the resources to be able to do this. The New Zealand economy has performed significantly better than had been expected. 

"Resources are available to us if we need them, but we have carefully managed this and we can and we do have the money that we need to support New Zealanders to get through this."

Robertson was confident the New Zealand economy was resilient enough to weather this latest COVID storm. 

"We can survive for a significant amount of time. As we've shown in the first round of COVID-19, the New Zealand economy is incredibly resilient. I'd put that as a worst-case scenario, the $1.5 billion - we'll see where it actually ends up landing. 

"But regardless, the New Zealand economy has shown its ability to come back from this. Obviously the reason we put in supports like the wage subsidy scheme and the resurgence support payment is to make sure we support businesses through this.

We've done it before and I'm very confident we can do it again." 

09:50am - Robertson told Newshub Nation as far as he knew the source of the latest outbreak didn't leave their room while in isolation and when they tested positive they were transferred to the Jetpark facility. 

He also defended having managed isolation places in Auckland.  

"We've had over 160,000 people through MIQ and we have a very small number where things haven't gone the way that we wanted them to. We are investigating this thoroughly and if changes need to be made, they will be made.

"We have now redone almost all of the ventilation systems inside our managed isolation facilities as a result of what we've learned."

09:40am - Robertson defended the delay in releasing the locations of interest in Wellington saying it was important to give out accurate information. 

"The media gets the luxury of just reporting what they hear and not needing to necessarily check or confirm that. We have a different job - our job is to make sure that we get accurate information out to the people of New Zealand. 

"There is a process to go through here - the first thing that people need to know is that when someone does get a positive test result immediately, health officials are working with them and their family and close contacts to get them to isolate, so the people who need to know, do know.

"Then after that the process then is worked on to say, where have you been? What places have you been? It takes some time to confirm that, to get the timings right, the details right.

"Then there is a process to contact the owners of businesses. I've been interviewed before where we've been criticised for announcing locations of interest before the owner of that business knows.

"There's a bit of a balance to be struck there - if it's too difficult to find someone, then yes, those locations of interest might be published before that person knows."

09:33am - Grant Robertson has told Newshub Nation there will be more cases today but wouldn't say if he knew how many there are. 

"Obviously as the Prime Minister said yesterday we're in that part of an outbreak where the number of cases will keep growing.

"We will see more cases in part actually because we've had such an extraordinary  response on testing.

"One thing I do know is yesterday we saw more than 40,000 tests taken around the country, and that will give us a really good insight into where we are.

"We just have to accept that things get worse before they get better."

The Finance Minister also refused to answer if the country would be in lockdown longer than Tuesday next week - despite calls from business leaders for more certainty.  

09:27am - There are over 200 places of interest in New Zealand with the majority so far in Auckland. You can check the latest list here

09:14 - Police in Northland stopped some surfers who had decided to make the most of the swell at Shipwreck Bay in Ahipara on Thursday. 

In a statement on Facebook police said a handful of surfers were out. 

"Our staff were supported by some members of local Iwi in educating the surfers around the current restrictions in place.

"Those surfers were reminded of the need to avoid water-based activities at this time and they were directed to return home."

Police also stopped a number of drivers who were on non-essential travel. 

"Yesterday in Te Hana, there were a handful of vehicles that were turned around after it was found the drivers were not undertaking essential travel,” said Superintendent Tony Hill, District Commander for Northland.

"This also happened overnight, where around a dozen vehicles were turned around for the same reason after being stopped across Te Tai Tokerau."

09:00am - Residents in West Auckland didn't waste much time stocking up on alcohol in the hours after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the country would be going into another level 4 lockdown. 

The thirsty locals bought up a weekend's worth of booze in just a few short hours, with one person reportedly spending $700 on his favourite drinks.

"On Tuesday from about three o'clock until close, it was probably more like a Friday and Saturday night combined, in terms of sales," West Auckland Trust Services chief executive Alan Pollard told Newshub. 

You can read the full story here.

Coronavirus: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Saturday, August 21

08:50am - Wellington mayor Andy Foster told Newshub there was frustration at how long it was taking to get the locations of interest in the region out to the public. 

"I think the key thing is getting those places of interest out now, there is a need to know basis and we need to know. 

"This is one of those situations where people need to know if they were potentially exposed to the virus. This information is taking far too long to get out. Things like a flight shouldn't be hard to get out. 

"We are being encouraged to be tested which is right but you can only know if you need to be tested when you know the locations of interest." 

Three cases were confirmed in the capital on Friday, all of whom had visited locations of interest in Auckland.

08:18am - Kiwis are turning to online mental health services to cope with the latest lockdown. Just a Thought, which offers free online courses to help people with depression and anxiety, says registrations have doubled since Wednesday.

"That would indicate there's potentially a greater surge that's happening out there," clinical lead Anna Elders told Newshub. "We can definitely see some of that worry starting to take effect."

People in their 30s and 40s appear to be particularly affected this time around, she said, based on the demographics of those signing up. 

"It's really normal that there's going to be a range of different emotions. That's absolutely understandable... I think having that bit of compassionate space for us to have a distress response and being okay with that, the next thing is just accepting it is a little bit tricky at the moment."

08:09am -  A thousand people who attended a Bayleys Real Estate conference at Spark Arena last Friday are having to isolate after one of the staff at the event tested positive for COVID-19. 

The attendees came from Bayley's offices across the country. 

The Project's Jeremy Corbett was one of the speakers and he had to rush home before he was due to go on air as host of the popular show. 

Sir John Key also spoke at the conference but not at the same time the infected person was there. Sir John told Newshub he was there for "all work and no play" and wasn't affected.  

The news came after attendees - including Hilary Barry - of a Mitre 10 function at Spark Arena the previous night were all told to self-isolate. 

08:04am - Kiwi shoppers are being urged to do as much of their online shopping with homegrown businesses, and not to forget those who can't open during level 4.

"Businesses across the country are now facing a perfect storm of a skills shortage, a significant increase to shipping costs... and now they've got COVID in the community," Dane Ambler, executive director of Buy NZ Made, told Newshub. "Once again we're stressing the importance of shopping local, just like we did last year."

While businesses have been happy with the wage subsidy and other assistance from the Government, Ambler says nothing beats cashflow. 

"There's no doubt a few businesses are going to fail. They've had a bit of time to prepare for this, but some are just teetering on the edge of being essential services. Those are the ones that are going to be in trouble... They probably thought this time around they might be classified as an essential service and haven't been. They're probably struggling a wee bit to come to terms with that." 

He said just because we're in lockdown, that doesn't mean we can't still support local non-essential businesses.

"You can perhaps buy a voucher online or place an order to be shipped when we do move down alert levels."

Buy NZ Made has also set up a page on its site on where you can buy high-quality New Zealand-made facemasks.

07:55am - Another two Auckland schools have been affected by the new outbreak with pupils  at McAuley High School in Otahuhu, and De La Salle College in Mangere East confirmed as new cases. 

Auckland Regional Public Health has confirmed to Newshub that the whole school is considered close contacts. Parents at the school have been informed.

07:42am - Newshub reporter Lloyd Burr has spent his time in isolation putting his rubbish to good news. The former European correspondent, who is back in NZ used his waste to construct a model of the Sky Tower. 

Burr said he used "HEAPS of cardboard, one coffee cup, three toilet rolls, four plastic bottles, six coke bottle lids, seven paper pottles, eight paper bags, 21 plastic knives, 22 forks and 23 meal lids. 

"There's also some paper, tissue paper, ribbon, and yoghurt containers. All held together using three bottles of PVA glue, four rolls of double-sided tape, one roll of sellotape, one glue stick, and gravity," he said.

You can read the full story here.

07:15am - Redoubt School in Auckland has sent out a note saying year 7 students attended a ballet on Friday August 13 that has now been marked as a location of interest. 

Pupils and parents are being advised to follow Ministry of Health guidelines to isolate at home and get tested.

07:00am - It is quiet in Auckland this morning as the country wakes up to its first weekend in the latest level 4 lockdown. 

6:45am - Australia has reclassified New Zealand as a 'red zone' destination, definitively popping the short-lived trans-Tasman travel bubble. 

New Zealand had already cut off Australia thanks to the spiralling NSW outbreak.

"Following the announcement of further locally acquired cases in the community and an extension of the Alert Level 4 to all of New Zealand until 11:59pm (NZST) on 24 August 2021, the Australian Government has extended the pause of green zone flights from New Zealand until 11:59pm (AEST) on 24 August 2021," Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Paul Kelly, said late on Friday.

"Until this time, all flights originating in New Zealand will be classified as Red Zone flights."

A review will be undertaken on Monday, but until then, any passengers on flgihts from New Zealand into Australia will have to go into MIQ for 14 days. 

6:10am - Two new cases at large Auckland schools were reported late last night by the NZ Herald - one each at De la Salle College and McAuley High School. Both cases were reportedly in class on August 17, during their infectious period. 

And Stuff reports a man who was a close contact with Case A, the North Shore man whose positive test triggered the lockdown, claims the initial phone call he received from contact tracers was so unprofessional, he questioned whether they were genuine.