As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Sunday, August 22

Twenty-one new cases of COVID-19 have been detected on Sunday, bringing the outbreak to 72.

Of the total number of cases, 61 are linked to the Auckland cluster, and 11 are under investigation. 

Of the 21 new infections, 20 are in Auckland, and one is in Wellington - a case that was reported publicly on Saturday, but has now officially been added to the tally.

It comes as the number of Auckland schools linked to the outbreak continues to grow, with close to 10 now directly affected.

But experts say case numbers will likely surge over the coming days as further testing is carried out and more potential exposure sites are identified, with epidemiologist Michael Baker saying it's still too early to tell if the outbreak has been limited to just Auckland and the capital.

During an interview on Sunday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins admitted the Government's protections appear "less robust" against the Delta variant, and added that Aucklanders should be prepared for a longer lockdown.

You can recap Saturday's developments here.

What you need to know:

  • New Zealand's nationwide alert level 4 lockdown will go through until at least 11:59pm on Tuesday
  • There are 72 cases of COVID-19 in the community after another 21 were reported on Sunday - 20 of which are in Auckland
  • 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 list of locations of interest has ballooned to almost 300
  • A student at Western Springs College and a staff member at Pukekohe High School, both in Auckland, have tested positive - taking the number of schools directly affected by the outbreak to seven
  • Hundreds of students are isolating in their rooms at a University of Auckland hall after a resident tested positive on Friday. The positive case attended a ball along with 500 people last weekend
  • A third Auckland University of Technology (AUT) student has tested positive
  • An Auckland bus driver who drives one of Royal Oak Intermediate's school services has tested positive
  • An invite-only vaccination initiative aimed at essential workers is underway at Auckland Airport, marking New Zealand's first drive-through vaccination event
  • Signing in to events or most businesses, such as scanning in with the NZ COVID Tracer, will become mandatory across all alert levels
  • Click here for all locations of interest.

These live updates have finished.

9:15pm - The level 4 lockdown has shone a spotlight on one sector in particular, and that's aged care.

Last lockdown a Christchurch facility became the country's deadliest cluster. This time, the focus is on the pressure of staff shortages at aged care facilities.

"It's not new anymore. We're not as frightened by it but equally the preparation is stronger, staff are better trained, they understand what to do, they've practised it, we've done scenarios," says Heritage Lifecare and Resthomes CEO Norah Barlow.

Read the full story here.

8:45pm - Auckland Councillor Chris Darby has shared a list of online grocery, fruit & veggie, meat, and meal kit stores to order from.

"They range from the usual suspects to the unusual suspects. I've thrown my favourite wine order company into the mix for good measure," he wrote in a Facebook post.

8:15pm - Business NZ says there's "going to be some real friction" since compulsory QR code scanning or manually signing in will be enforced by workers in venues.

The rule is set to come into force in seven days, but those tasked with enforcing it are worried. 

"I think there's going to be some real friction there," says Kirk Hope, CEO of Business NZ.

Even in the short time masks have been mandatory, essential workers have reported being spat on and harassed for enforcing the rule. 

"Business owners, people in businesses will be worried about some extreme customer reactions," Hope adds.

Read the full story here.

7:45pm - An expert says the announcement of compulsory record-keeping when visiting venues is an "important and significant step".

Dr Andrew Chen, a research fellow and the University of Auckland's Koi Tū - Centre for Informed Futures, says New Zealand has had a challenge with low levels of participating in digital contact tracing.

"One of the big challenges with digital contact tracing in New Zealand has been the relatively low level of participation. Before the current outbreak of cases, only approximately 10 percent of New Zealand adults were scanning QR codes on a regular basis," he says.

"Modelling from Te Pūnaha Matatini last year showed that we need at least 60 percent, and preferably 80 percent, of adults participating in digital contact tracing to have a meaningful impact on the reproducibility rate of COVID-19. With the Delta variant, we need that participation rate to be higher than ever."

While people can either keep a digital or handwritten record of where they've been, Chen adds that the Government could use this opportunity to address the digital exclusion some New Zealanders face.

"By some estimates, as much as 20 percent of the adult population does not have access to a smartphone or the skills to use one effectively, and policies such as vouchers for smartphones or more funding for community skills training could help improve the proportion of NZers participating in digital contact tracing," he says.

"That digital access and skills training will have long-term benefits beyond the pandemic as well."

As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Sunday, August 22
Photo credit: Getty Images

7:30pm - The Ministry of Health has just added more locations of interest. There are supermarkets, clothing stores, a GP, and food outlets.

The new locations are:

  • Soymate Sushi West City Henderson, August 15 from 1pm to 3pm
  • Taste of Samoa Henderson, August 16 from 11am to 1pm
  • Knobs & Knockers Grafton, August 16 from 12pm to 12:20pm
  • Glassons Queen St Auckland CBD, August 16 from 1pm to 2pm
  • Countdown Westgate Shopping Centre Massey, August 16 from 5pm to 6pm
  • St Pierre's Sushi Ponsonby, August 16 from 6:30pm to 7pm
  • The Warehouse Clendon, August 17 from 9am to 11am
  • The Local Doctors GP Otara, August 17 from 10:45am to 3:15pm
  • Jets Gym Otahuhu, August 17 from 12pm to 3pm
  • Lone Star Alexandra Park, August 17 from 6:38pm to 8:15pm
  • Mobil Blockhouse Bay Avondale, August 17 from 10:30pm to 11pm
  • Countdown Takanini, August 19 from 7am to 7:10am.

7pm - Nearly 9000 New Zealanders are self-isolating after being classed as close contacts.

But what is required of you if you need to stay home and isolate? And what do those living with you need to do?

Read Newshub's guide to isolation for close contacts here.

6:30pm - ACT leader David Seymour is proposing a "COVID Tracer app lottery" to encourage people to use the app more.

The party is proposing a $5.2 million fund. For each scan, the person would go into the draw to win $1000. There would be 100 prizes of $1000 each week. Anyone who scans in at the same location more than once in 15 minutes would be ineligible.

"The Government needs to get more creative with its thinking. It's happy to spend the COVID fund on cameras on fishing boats and a business case for the replacement of Te Papa's Spirit Collection Area," Seymour says.

"The $5.2 million we're proposing is less than the amount the Government spent from the COVID fund for the Royal NZ Ballet, NZ Symphony Orchestra and Te Papa's Spirit Collection Area.

"This is targeted COVID spending that will increase app usage and make contact tracing faster and easier."

David Seymour.
David Seymour. Photo credit: The AM Show

6:15pm - There are two extra locations of interest. They are:

  • Koffee Bar West City Henderson, August 15 from 1pm - 3pm
  • SuperValue Avondale, August 17 from 5pm - 6:30pm.

6pm - It's time for Newshub Live at 6pm for the latest on the COVID-19 outbreak. You can watch that online here or by tuning in on Three.

5:45pm - Aucklanders in a queue at the A&P Showgrounds' testing centre were facing a lengthy wait earlier this afternoon.

A video posted to a community Facebook page shows the line of cars snaking down a street, and "no one is moving at all", the poster says.

One commenter says they waited five hours and were turned away, asked instead to come back tomorrow.

5:20pm - Over 1500 people were vaccinated at New Zealand's largest drive-through site today.

The vaccination site, set up at Auckland Airport Park and Ride, saw 500 people come through by lunchtime, the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC) says, with 1577 vaccinated by the end of the day. There were 27 vaccinators and 100 staff.

The drive-through will initially last for seven days with the focus on those people who need to be rebooked, any airport staff who have not yet been vaccinated, and essential workers like those in supermarkets, bus drivers and taxi drivers.

Matt Hannant, programme director for (NRHCC), says he's pleased with how the day went.

"We had sent out appointments for 1000 people today so we're pleased to have exceeded those numbers which shows that people have heard the call to bring their whanau and bubble along to get vaccinated at the same time," he says.

"By 3pm we took the decision to close off any further entries to the site to ensure we could get through the 300-400 cars we already had inside by our close down at 4:30pm."

The vaccine site will reopen at 8:30am tomorrow.

4:50pm - The Ministry of Health has added several new locations of interest. They are:

  • Farro Grey Lynn, August 17 from 6:37pm - 6:50pm
  • Countdown Grey Lynn, August 17 from 6:52pm - 7:15pm
  • Kmart St Lukes, August 17 from 8:45pm - 9:05pm
  • Farro Grey Lynn, August 18 from 4:33pm - 4:45pm
  • Countdown Grey Lynn, August 18 from 4:55pm - 5:30pm.

4:30pm - AUT has confirmed a third student has tested positive for COVID-19.

On August 16, the student visited two locations. The first is AL2 library study space in the north campus between 10:42am and 2pm. The second is the class PSYC706 health psychology in AA234 in the north campus between 2:10pm and 2:55pm.

On August 17, they visited two locations. They are WA4 tech central in the city campus between 11:41am and 2pm, and the class PSYC781 applied issues in social and cultural psychology in WG801/802 in the city campus.

4pm - Countdown says about 400 of its team members are currently isolating after exposures at 13 stores across Auckland and Wellington.

Three Auckland stores are currently closed and an additional two will shut by the end of today due to low team numbers.

Stores identified as a location of interest on Sunday are:

  • Countdown Manukau - visited on August 19, 4:53pm - 5:30pm
  • Countdown Mangere East - visited on August 20, 10:50am - 10:55am
  • Countdown Greenlane - visited on August 17, 8:27pm - 8:50pm
  • Countdown Victoria Street West - visited on August 15, 2:30pm - 3:15pm
  • Countdown Grey Lynn - visited on August 17, 6:52pm - 7:15pm and August 18, 4:45pm to 5:30pm.

Previously indentified stores are:

  • Countdown Lincoln Road - visited on August 11, 2:56pm - 3:30pm
  • Countdown Glenfield - visited on August 14, 5pm - 5:15pm and August 15, 10:30am - 11:15am
  • Countdown Lynfield - visited on August 4, 2:45pm - 3:05pm and August 15, 8pm - 8:15pm
  • Countdown Takapuna - visited on August 15, 3:20pm - 3:30pm 
  • Countdown Birkenhead - visited on August 13, 6pm - 6:30pm and visited twice on August 16, 7am - 7:15am and 12:30pm - 12:45pm. 
  • Countdown Botany Downs - visited on August 17, 10:20am and 10:30am
  • Countdown Newtown - visited on August 20, 8:05am - 9:45am
  • Countdown Johnsonville - visited on August  18, 4:30pm - 5pm.

A deep clean has been undertaken at each of these stores, a Countdown spokesperson says, in addition to a thorough daily clean that's done each day.

Any team members who were working during the time of the visits have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days and be tested three times.  

The Botany, Birkenhead, Glenfield, Albert Street Metro, and Halsey Street Metro stores are all temporarily closed. Additionally, Countdown Hauraki Corner will be temporarily closed from 7pm today to September 2. Countdown Mangere Mall will also be temporarily closed from 6pm today to September 1.

3:30pm - National Party MP Andrew Bayly says it is "bedlam" at both testing stations in Pukekohe.

"If you are not in the queue already it is highly unlikely you will be tested today," he wrote in a Facebook post.

"If you come tomorrow please bring food and water as the wait will be long."

3pm - To recap, record-keeping - such as scanning QR codes or manual entries - will soon be mandatory for most events and businesses across alert levels, to ensure the Government can contact trace quickly.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says those in charge of businesses or events need to make sure customers or attendees are signing in before entering.

This rule will be enforced at venues such as cafes, restaurants, bars, casinos, concerts, aged-care and healthcare facilities, barbers, gyms, nightclubs, libraries, courts, local and central Government agencies, and facilities with customer-facing staff and service.

Read more here.

2:45pm - ACT leader David Seymour has once again issued a fiery response to the Government, this time regarding the new rules around record-keeping and signing in.

During Sunday's press conference, Hipkins said that record-keeping - such as requiring customers to scan in with the NZ COVID Tracer app - will become mandatory for most events and businesses.

Seymour says the onus shouldn't be on businesses to enforce signing in.

"Businesses have been through enough with multiple lockdowns," he said in a statement. "Now they have been commandeered as law enforcement for a new rule, under threat of penalties up to $1000, and possibly more once reviewed. 

"Has Government considered the Health and Safety risks if a staff member asks someone to scan and they become aggressive? Will business owners, as Persons Conducting a Business Undertaking, need a plan to meet their obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act?

"Will businesses have to employ more staff to make sure people are scanning?

"The onus should be on individuals to follow the rules, and ultimately Government to enforce them, not businesses who are under enough pressure already."

2:30pm - Police Commissioner Andrew Coster says despite a few incidents of rule-flouting over the weekend, compliance with level 4 restrictions has generally been good.

Since alert level 4 came into force on Tuesday night, 23 people have been charged with a total of 27 offences nationwide as at 5pm on Saturday.

These arrests are primarily the result of protest activity, Coster says.

Of the 27 charges filed, 14 are for Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19) and 11 for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction and 2 for Health Act Breaches.

In the same time period, 65 people were issued with formal warnings: 22 were for Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19), and 16 for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction and 27 for Health Act Breaches.

Police have received a total of 4487 breach notifications online: 2550 were about a gathering; 1542 were about a business; and 395 were about a person.

In addition, a total of 3611 calls were made to the 105 phone line.

The majority (71 percent) of calls were requests for information, and 29 percent were to report perceived restriction breaches.

As of 5pm on Saturday, police have issued 174 infringements nationwide.

The breakdown of these total offences is as follows:

  • Person failed to remain at current home / residence - 146
  • Person failed to comply with applicable physical distancing rule - 13
  • Person failed to wear a face covering on premises - 9
  • Person failed to wear a face covering on public transport - 2
  • Obstruct/hinder Medical Officer of Health or Person Assisting Med Officer - 4.

Here are a few examples of issues from the across country that officers have dealt with since Friday:

  • Police managed to prevent a planned protest at Aotea Square on Saturday afternoon and around 30 people were turned away
  • Two women were arrested and charged: a 41-year-old, for failing to comply with a direction/prohibition/restriction; and a 69-year-old, for failing to comply with an order. Both are scheduled to appear in Auckland District Court on Monday
  • In Auckland overnight, at around 3am, Waitematā Police arrested a 26-year-old man who was seen driving around and was wanted by police in relation to an alleged burglary last week. He has been charged with receiving stolen property and obtains by deception. He also received an infringement notice for beaching the alert level 4 restrictions
  • In Otago on Friday morning, seven men from six separate bubbles were found jet boating by a police officer who was patrolling along the Makarora River. One of the men had travelled from Dunedin - a four-hour drive. Enforcement action will be taken against the men and this is currently being processed.

"With the Delta strain of COVID-19 being more serious than what we have previously seen, it is incredibly important that people follow the rules to keep ourselves, our loved ones and the wider community safe," Coster says.

2:20pm - Here is the latest data from the Ministry of Health regarding New Zealand's vaccination rollout: 

  • On Saturday, 52,106 doses were administered nationally, comprising 36,478 first doses and 15,628 second doses
  • More than 2.75 million doses of the vaccine have been administered to date (to 11:59pm on August 21)
  • Of these, 1.75 million are first doses and just under 1 million are second doses.
  • More than 153,000 Māori have received their first vaccination. Of these, more than 91,000 have also had their second vaccinations
  • More than 101,000 doses have been administered to Pacific peoples. Of these, more than 62,000 have also received their second doses.

2:15pm - To recap, as of 9am on Sunday, 8667 contacts have been identified in connection to the outbreak.

"This number will increase throughout the day as records are fully processed," Dr Bloomfield said during the 1pm press conference.

The majority of these contacts are close contacts.

Of these contacts, 4124 have been contacted and are self-isolating, and a third have returned a negative test.

Work is underway to contact the remaining 4500 contacts. Most of these contacts were identified on Saturday due to investigations into settings with high numbers of people, such as schools.

2:05pm - See below for the Ministry of Health's official press release for the latest case numbers on Sunday:

There are 21 new cases of COVID-19 in the New Zealand community to confirm today.

This brings the total number of cases in the community outbreak to 72.

All cases have or are being transferred safely to a managed isolation facility, under strict infection prevention and control procedures, including the use of full PPE.

Of the 21 new cases, 20 are in Auckland and one is in Wellington - this case was previously reported publicly yesterday but has officially been added to the total case numbers today.

Wellington's number of community cases remains at six.

Of the 72 cases, 61 cases are now confirmed as part of the Auckland cluster, with the remaining 11 under investigation to confirm linkage to the outbreak. Initial assessment shows in most cases there is a link.

ESR continues to run whole genome sequencing on samples taken from all new cases to support ongoing investigations into the outbreak. ESR has completed sequencing for 17 of these cases, including the three Wellington cases reported yesterday, and found all have genome links to the Auckland cluster.

There are three new cases in recent returnees in a managed isolation facility.

One previously reported case has now recovered. The total number of active cases being managed in New Zealand is currently 116.

The recent returnees include an individual who returned on August 6 and tested positive on day 13 of their stay in managed isolation. Their full travel history is yet to be confirmed.

The second arrived on August 17 from Malaysia via Singapore and tested positive on day three, and the third arrived on August 18 from Singapore via a yet-to-be-determined transit location. They tested positive on day two. This case is a contact of a previously reported case from Friday.

1:55pm - The Prime Minister has previously spoken directly to the CEO of Pfizer in a bid to speed up the delivery of the vaccine, Hipkins says.

Earlier in the press conference, he noted that the latest shipment came a few days early, and there is "no risk  of running out" based on the current vaccination rate.

There are currently around 750,000 doses either in the freezer or in distribution.

1:50pm - Meanwhile across the ditch in stricken New South Wales, 830 new cases and three deaths have been reported on Sunday.

1:45pm - Dr Bloomfield has provided some clarity around the requirements for close contacts who are in a household bubble with other people.

Close contacts must self-isolate separately from the rest of their bubble, for example, in their bedroom, so other members of the household are not put at risk.

Household members are able to move around the rest of the home, however, they should not be leaving the house - to the supermarket, pharmacy, etc - until the close contact has returned a negative day five test.

1:41pm - Hipkins says at the current rate, there is no risk of New Zealand running out of vaccines.

There are currently about 750,000 doses either in the freezer or in distribution, with weekly shipments keeping the supply replenished.

With the current rate sitting at around 50,000 vaccinations each day, "there is no risk of running out" before the next shipment arrives within the next 10 days, he says.

1:39pm - Hipkins says to his knowledge, no ministers have been identified as close contacts of the outbreak so far.

In regards to mandatory record-keeping, Hipkins says penalties will be consistent with what is already outlined in the existing Act, such as fines from $300 to $1000 depending on the circumstances.

Penalties are being reviewed, but any changes would require legislation to go through Parliament.

1:34pm - Dr Bloomfield says five of the cases are currently hospitalised with COVID-19, but none are in the ICU.

1:30pm - Hipkins says the Government had intended to announce mandatory QR code scanning on Wednesday, but delayed it due to the significance of the burgeoning outbreak.

"We're announcing it now so people know that's what they can expect when the lockdown is over, whenever that might be," he says.

Recently released data indicates just 32 percent of contacts connected to the outbreak have been using the NZ COVID Tracer app.

1:28pm - When asked how long New Zealanders can expect to stay in alert level 4 lockdown, Hipkins reiterated that "regional boundaries are a possibility" - and it's likely that not all regions will continue to remain at the same alert level.

"There's potential for movement - that may not happen immediately, but we may be able to signal it," Hipkins said.

However, he added he doesn't want to "pre-empt" anything.

1:21pm - Hipkins says that record-keeping, such as QR scanning, is to become mandatory for most events and businesses across the alert level framework.

1:18pm - Wastewater testing continues at 41 sites across the country, with 13 in Auckland and four in Wellington, with further sites being added.

There have detections of viral fragments in both Auckland and Wellington. A sample from Lower Point on Saturday tested positive for COVID-19, however the other three sites in the capital were negative.

Samples taken on Friday in Auckland returned positive results for the eastern and western catchments, however the most recent samples from the North Shore tested negative for first time this week from sites in Rosedale and Albany.

1:16pm - On Saturday 38,389 tests were processed, showing "unprecedented demand".

More than 20,000 swabs were taken at testing centres across Auckland on Saturday.

1:14pm - Several cases reported on Sunday have been linked to church service at the Samoan Assembly Of God Church in Mangere last Sunday.

The risk period has been identified as 9am to 3pm.

People who were there at the specified time are required to isolate at home for 14 days from the date of last exposure and get tested immediately, as well as on days five & 12 after last exposure. Call Healthline for what to do next.

1:13pm - New locations of interest will be published every two hours, Dr Bloomfield says, with more than 280 potential exposure sites now identified.

A new online search feature has debuted on Sunday to make it easier for people to check specific areas.

1:11pm - As of 9am, 8667 contacts have been identified, "virtually" all are considered close contacts, says Dr Bloomfield.

Of the contacts, 4124 have been formally contacted and followed up - a third of those have returned test results.

1:10pm - Of the cases, 61 have been linked to the Auckland cluster, while 11 are under investigation.

1:09pm - There are 21 new cases in the community, 20 in Auckland, one in Wellington, bringing the total outbreak to 72.

1:08pm - More than 380,000 additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in New Zealand on Saturday, Hipkins says.

Contacts who are self-isolating should not leave their homes - and that includes being vaccinated, he warned.

"Please do not go to a vaccination centre," he said.

People with bookings are able to rebook.

1:06pm - "To start with good news", Hipkins says, there was a new weekend vaccination record on Saturday with more than 50,000 doses administered.

As of Sunday, one million New Zealanders are fully vaccinated.

1:04pm - Hipkins has taken the podium. He is thanking everyone for staying at home and staying in their bubble to help stop the spread of the virus.

12:50pm - The Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins are about to provide the latest case numbers during the 1pm press conference.

Watch on Three or online at

12:20pm - Countdown on Victoria St West in Auckland has been closed for a deep clean after it was named as a location of interest on Sunday morning.

A spokesperson for Countdown said they hope to have the store open later today.

The ministry has identified the risk period as between 2:30pm and 3:15pm on Sunday, August 15.

        "Isolate at home for 14 days from date of last exposure. Test immediately, and on days five & 12 after last exposure. Call Healthline for what to do next."

A number of Countdown supermarkets have been identified as locations of interest across Auckland, including the Countdowns in Mangere East, Manukau, Greenlane, Birkenhead, Botany Downs, Takapuna, Glenfield Mall, Lincoln Rd and Lynfield in Mt Roskill, as well as the Newtown and Johnsonville Rd branches in Wellington.

12:10pm - Dedicated testing sites have been set up for students and staff from Pukekohe High School.

On Sunday, Franklin Local Board Member Logan Soole reiterated that students and staff who were at the school on August 16 and 17 are the priority, as well as symptomatic household contacts.

"The queues are already/will be long so please bring snacks and water," Soole said.

The testing stations are at Pukekohe A&P Showgrounds (Gate 2) and at the Seddon Medical Centre on Hall St. Both are drive-through, however walk-ins are also accepted at A&P Showgrounds.

According to the locations of interest, the risk periods have been identified as Tuesday, August 17 from 8am to 4:30pm, and Monday, August 16 from 8am to 4pm.

Close contacts must isolate at home for 14 days from the date of exposure and get tested immediately, as well as on days five and 12.

11:50am - ACT Party leader David Seymour has come out with all guns blazing after COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins admitted the Government's systems appeared "less robust" and "less adequate" against the Delta variant.

As reported earlier, the Epsom MP issued a scathing statement following Hipkins' interview with TVNZ's Q&A on Sunday morning, accusing the Government of "wallowing in dismissive complacency".

He argued that the Delta variant - which first emerged late last year - has been circulating long enough for the Government to have scaled up their protections against the highly infectious strain.

Read more here.

11:35am - To recap, there are now seven schools directly affected by the outbreak in Auckland, with a COVID-positive staff member at Pukekohe High School and a student at Western Springs College reported on Saturday.

Other schools impacted by the outbreak are:

  • Avondale College, Avondale
  • McAuley High School, Ōtāhuhu
  • Northcote College, North Shore
  • Lynfield College, Mt Roskill
  • De La Salle College, Māngere East.

11:25am - As reported earlier, a Fisher & Paykel worker is understood to be among Auckland's 45 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The person works the night shift at the East Tamaki facility and is now in managed isolation, according to reports.

In a statement to the NZ Herald, VP Corporate Marcus Driller said the company is cooperating with public health officials to ensure anyone who may have had contact with the worker is contacted.

Driller said Fisher & Paykel employees have had early access to vaccinations and there are "extensive" safety measures on-site at their facilities, such as a rapid saliva testing and Bluetooth contact tracing cards, to minimise the chance of transmission.

11:15am - Meanwhile across the Tasman in Victoria, 65 new cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the community in the past 24 hours to midnight (local time).

There are currently 440 active cases in the state, which has endured a number of restrictive lockdowns.

A staggering 825 cases were recorded in neighbouring New South Wales on Saturday.

11:05am - More than 130 doses of the vaccine have been administered in the first hour of the new drive-through vaccination clinic opening at Auckland Airport's park-and-ride.

Twenty-seven vaccinators are on-site administering the jabs at the centre, an invite-only initiative aimed at immunising essential workers.

It is the country's first drive-through vaccination centre, which is set to jab 1000 people on Sunday.

NRHCC COVID-19 vaccination programme director Matt Hannant says he is not aware of many cars being turned away from the clinic and doesn't expect it to be an issue.

He says plans are underway for another drive-through vaccination centre in West Auckland.

The centre will initially stay open for a week, however Hannant says there is potential for it remain open for longer.

"We're just focusing on that seven-day period to start with and we'll wait and see what announcements come from the Government," he told RNZ.

"But if the model works and we can find other locations, then it's certainly something that we would look to adopt in the future, particularly if the community really takes to it."

10:50am - A Fisher & Paykel worker is among the 45 positive cases of COVID-19 in Auckland, according to reports.

The employee, who works at an East Tamaki facility - according to the NZ Heraldhas now been transferred to a managed isolation and quarantine facility (MIQ).

Other recent cases include a staffer at SkyCity casino, a Sky TV employee, a staff member at Pukekohe High School, a student at Western Springs College, two AUT students, an Auckland University student, and a school bus driver.

10:25am - Aucklanders should prepare to be under tough lockdown restrictions for longer than Tuesday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says, indicating there will be a surge in community cases over the coming days.

Speaking to TVNZ's Q+A on Sunday morning, Hipkins said he expects there will soon be different alert levels for the rest of New Zealand, but Aucklanders should be prepared to bunker down for "a bit longer".

Read more here.

10:10am - Ashley Bloomfield receiving his first dose of the vaccine on Sunday morning.

Read more here.

As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Sunday, August 22
Photo credit: TVNZ

10am - ACT leader David Seymour has been quick to rubbish COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins' responses during an interview with Q&A this morning, saying the minister has shown how "unprepared" the Government was for an outbreak of the Delta variant.

During the interview, Hipkins admitted that the Government's existing measures to keep out the virus were looking "less adequate and less robust".

"Look, Delta does raise some big questions that we're going to have to grapple with, you know less than a 24-hour period for someone getting it and passing it on to others... that's like nothing we've dealt with in this pandemic so far, and it does change everything - it does mean that all of our existing protections, start to look less adequate and less robust as a result of that, so we are looking very closely at what more we can do there," he said.

Hipkins also said the vaccination rollout could have been faster if the Government had opted for other brands of vaccines, instead of sticking solely to Pfizer.

"This is simply not good enough," Seymour said. "The Government has wallowed in dismissive complacency.

"We need a proactive response from Government so we're not put in this situation again."

9:50am - A councillor is calling for a community testing centre in the south Auckland suburb of Pukekohe as clinics in the area experience significant congestion.

On Saturday, it was confirmed that a staff member at Pukekohe High School had tested positive for COVID-19, exacerbating already lengthy queues at local testing centres.

Manurewa-Papakura Ward Councillor Daniel Newman is now urging Auckland Regional Public Health and the Counties Manukau District Health Board to open an additional centre in Pukekohe for affected staff and students.

"We need to divert people away from overrun sites elsewhere," Newman said on Sunday. "The centre at Bruce Pulman was opened at 1pm yesterday but was quickly overwhelmed by a surge of Aucklanders who require tests."

He noted that staff and students from Pukekohe High School have been lining up in their droves at the clinic in Bruce Pulman Park, a sports complex in Takanini - making it more difficult for local residents to get tested. 

"We are in an unprecedented situation where the Delta strain of COVID-19 is potentially being transmitted in our community. We need everyone to be tested and I want to thank people who are enduring long queues at testing centres across the Auckland region," Newman continued.

"But a centre is required in Pukekohe to provide a convenient location to soak up demand from Franklin residents, as well as alleviate the queues that have formed at Bruce Pulman Park and Druces Rd."

9:40am - COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will provide the latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak at 1pm.

9:30am - The Government is restarting free childcare for essential workers under alert level 4, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said in a statement on Sunday.

Essential workers with children aged up to 13 will be able to access free childcare to lessen the load during lockdown.

Hipkins said free childcare is one way to help reduce the stress of staffers as they continue to provide essential services for New Zealanders.

"Providing a free and flexible service to our essential workers is really important and one way to reduce their stress as they go about their vital work on behalf of us all," Hipkins said.

"We still don't know for how long we'll be in level 4... essential workers need to be able to plan and putting this service in place from tomorrow will give them some valuable peace of mind."

Employees of essential businesses and services under alert level 4 are eligible for the scheme, as well as other exempted services, such as Fire and Emergency and border workers.

Parents are expected to use their own private arrangements where possible.

9:21am - Speaking to Q&A host Jack Tame on Sunday morning, Hipkins said he expects there will soon be "some differentiation" in alert levels between Auckland and other regions. 

He echoed comments made by the Prime Minister on Saturday, which suggested that an extension of the lockdown is looking likely for Aucklanders.

"If I was in Auckland, I would certainly be preparing to be at home for a bit longer," Hipkins said.

9:17am - COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has told Q&A there was no way New Zealand could have secured the Pfizer vaccine earlier than it did - and not even paying more money would have worked. 

Hipkins said once the decision was made to only use Pfizer and not other brands of the vaccine, it delayed the roll-out. 

8:53am - The Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, has just received his first dose of the vaccine.

"[I'm] feeling great actually. It's really nice to have got to this point," he told reporters.

He said he has yet to be briefed on whether new infections have been detected overnight, but will be informed of any new developments at around 9am.

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health confirmed Dr Bloomfield, who is in his mid-50s, had booked his vaccination.

Jacinda Ardern, 41, received her first jab on June 18 and her second in July at Hamilton's Te Awa Vaccination Centre.

The public health official has received his first jab of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The public health official has received his first jab of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Photo credit: Getty Images

8:45am - Construction worker Emmanuel Waipouri, the first in line to get the jab at Auckland's mass drive-through vaccination centre, says the staff are doing a great job and everyone is abiding by the rules.

Waipouri, who is currently working at Auckland Airport, says the crew decided to rally together to get vaccinated.

"We were in the line of fire at the airport, we thought, and decided as a team to come here... and get a jab," he told Newshub shortly after receiving his vaccine on Sunday morning.

The queue was about 40 minutes, he said, but it was worth the wait.

"I had two coffees," he added.

Everyone is wearing their masks and adhering to social distancing, he said.

8:35am - Emmanuel Waipouri is the first person to receive their jab at the new drive-through vaccination clinic near Auckland Airport.

On Saturday, it was announced that New Zealand's largest drive-through vaccination centre would open on Sunday at Auckland Airport's park-and-ride site.

The clinic is the first drive-through centre in the metro Auckland region, capable of vaccinating up to 2000 people per day to begin with.

Waipouri received his vaccine shortly after 8:30am.

Emmanuel Waipouri from the Fulton and Hogan construction crew at Auckland Airport was the first person to get vaccinated at the drive-through centre.
Emmanuel Waipouri from the Fulton and Hogan construction crew at Auckland Airport was the first person to get vaccinated at the drive-through centre. Photo credit: Newshub

8:20am - Photos from the newly opened drive-through vaccination clinic at Auckland Airport's park-and-ride at around 8am on Sunday.

As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Sunday, August 22
Photo credit: Newshub
As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Sunday, August 22
Photo credit: Newshub

8:05am - It's also understood a SkyCity Casino staff member is among Auckland's 45 cases.

In an email to staffers on Saturday, obtained by the Herald, management said they had been advised late that afternoon that an employee had tested positive.

The casino was identified as a major location of interest during a press conference on Wednesday, alongside the Central Auckland Church of Christ in Freemans Bay. 

According to the email, the staffer had been working in the Platinum Gaming Room on level 3 between 8:30pm on Friday, August 13 and 6am on Saturday, August 14.

The Ministry of Health has identified the potential exposure period as 1:15am to 3am on Saturday, August 14.

Punters who were at the casino during the specified time are asked to isolate at home for 14 days from the date of exposure and get tested immediately. They are also required to undergo further tests on day five and day 12.

"Call Healthline for what to do next," the ministry advises.

7:55am - It's understood a Sky TV staffer, who worked at the company's Mt Wellington offices on Monday and Tuesday while they were potentially infectious, is among Auckland's positive cases.

As reported by the New Zealand Herald, Sky New Zealand's chief people and operations officer, Michael Frampton, has acknowledged the company is taking a "precautionary approach" following the news.

"While this news is not what any of us wanted to hear, we have good systems in place ... we're taking a proactive and precautionary approach to protecting everyone's health, safety and wellbeing," Frampton said in an email to Sky TV staff, viewed by the Herald.

"Many of you may feel anxious tonight on hearing this news. I get it - we're all uncertain about the road ahead.

"What I'm really certain about though, and what matters most, is what we do next and how we respond - with care, compassion and kindness."

7:45am - The Prime Minister has signalled a lockdown extension for Auckland is looking "very likely".

Case numbers are expected to rise early this week, with 21 new infections reported on Saturday.

The current alert level settings are set to remain in place for the nation until 11:59pm on Tuesday. 

At the time of writing, the virus has only been detected in the Super City and the capital, with 45 found in the former and six in the latter.

Cabinet will reconvene on Monday to decide the next steps for New Zealand.

7:35am - New data modelling suggests around 100 cases were circulating in the community before the nationwide lockdown was imposed at 11:59pm on Tuesday.

Professor Shaun Hendy says based on this modelling, case numbers will likely begin to peak early this week - but the efficacy of the lockdown will not be evident until next weekend.

"The big unknown is how effective level 4 restrictions are with Delta. We know it worked well last year but this is a more transmissive variant now, so we expect the lockdown to be less effective," he says. 

7:20am - Epidemiologist Michael Baker says although case numbers are tracking as expected, it's still too early to tell how high they will go.

Speaking to RNZ, Prof Baker said it remains possible that positive cases travelled to other parts of the country pre-lockdown, and the virus could be spreading outside of Auckland and Wellington.

"We've heard from the modeller a range of estimates from 50 to 120 cases. I think that's still a pretty realistic range," he said. 

"This is obviously a middle-range estimate because it can be easily a lot more if one of those cases when they were infected, went to a super-spreading kind of event."

He says it's too early to guarantee that the virus has been confined to Auckland and Wellington.

"I don't think we can guarantee that. The other known contacts have been distributed all around the country so those people I imagine will be having the tests over the weekend and early next week so the results from those may not be available until Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday."

7am - Experts are warning the rising numbers of COVID-19 in New Zealand aren't yet over.

"That total number of cases could go up somwhere towards 100, I think, within the next two to three days," said Michael Plank, a disease modelling expert from the University of Canterbury.

6:45am - Thousands of people are expected to flood Auckland Airport on Sunday morning as part of New Zealand's first drive-through COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Click here to find out more about the vaccination clinic.

6:30am - Pukekohe High is the latest Auckland school to email parents about a staff member testing positive for COVID-19.

"Sending massive aroha out to the staff member and I hope they make a speedy recovery," said Logan Soole, a member of Auckland Council's Franklin local board.

"I'm confident our school and [the] wider community will support each other and respond with mana and kindness."

Western Springs College is also reportedly dealing with a positive case, in addition to Royal Oak Intermediate, Lynfield College, De la Salle High School, McAuley High School, Redoubt School and Northcote College.