As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Monday, October 11

Thirty-five new community cases of COVID-19 have been reported on Monday, all of which are in Auckland - a marked drop from the 60 recorded on Sunday.

Of the 35 new cases, 21 have yet to be epidemiologically linked to the outbreak. Of the 60 recorded on Sunday, 29 were infectious while in the community and have associated exposure events. 

It comes as Cabinet announced Auckland will stay in current restrictions for at least another week. Northland and Waikato will stay in level 3 until at least 11:59pm on Thursday, and Cabinet will review these settings on Wednesday.

Only specific areas of the Waikato region are currently in lockdown, with the boundary extended last week to include the Waitomo, Waipā and Ōtorohanga Districts after cases were detected in Kāwhia and Karāpiro. All 31 community cases in Waikato have been linked to the region's index case, which was found in Hamilton East.

Northland also entered a snap alert level 3 lockdown on Friday night after an Auckland woman, who travelled throughout the region earlier in the week, tested positive for COVID-19. The woman, who has refused to cooperate with authorities, is believed to have used false documents to breach Auckland's northern boundary. The woman travelled with one other person - as of Monday, that individual has been contacted, but not located. A Whangārei motel has been identified as a location of interest on Monday.

There has been speculation that the woman is a sex worker and might be affiliated with gangs - however, Jacinda Ardern says there is "no evidence" to suggest that is the woman's profession.

Meanwhile, five healthcare workers have tested positive in Auckland - two at North Shore Hospital and three at Auckland City Hospital. 

On Sunday night, the Ministry of Health was informed that a fully vaccinated staff member at Auckland City Hospital had tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. As of Monday morning, two further staffers have tested positive. Of the three, two were tested at a community testing site, while the other was swabbed due to routine surveillance testing at their workplace.

In Auckland's north, two North Shore Hospital staffers have also returned positive results after a COVID-positive patient, reported on Sunday, received treatment in the dialysis unit adjacent to the facility. The link between the three cases is being investigated, the Ministry of Health said. A number of staff have been stood down as a precaution - staff who have been tested have returned negative results.

It comes after 60 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Sunday, the highest number since the beginning of September. Of the new cases, 56 were in Auckland, three were in Waikato and one was in the Bay of Plenty.

In other news, three of Auckland's confirmed cases are currently in Corrections custody. Two are quarantining in a dedicated unit at Mt Eden Corrections Facility, while the third is in hospital under the supervision of Corrections officers.

What you need to know

  • Thirty-five new community cases of COVID-19 have been reported on Monday, all of which are in Auckland - 60 cases were recorded on Sunday.
  • Of the 35 cases, 21 have yet to be epidemiologically linked to the outbreak.
  • Auckland will remain in level 3 with current restrictions for another week
  • Northland and Waikato will stay in level 3 until at least 11:59pm on Thursday
  • Northland is currently under alert level 3 restrictions after a positive case travelled extensively around the region. The woman has not been cooperating with authorities. Police are still attempting to find another woman she travelled with - as of Monday, the person has been contacted, but not located.
  • Auckland moved into phase one of the Government's 'roadmap to recovery' last Wednesday. The region remains at alert level 3.
  • The alert level 3 boundary in Waikato now includes the Waitomo, Waipā and Ōtorohanga Districts after cases were detected in Kāwhia and Karāpiro last week.
  • Three confirmed cases are currently in Corrections custody - two are quarantining at Mt Eden Prison in Auckland and one is in hospital under the supervision of Corrections officers.
  • The person who travelled to Katikati from Auckland has had a second test, which returned a negative result. Their relatives have also tested negative.
  • Two staffers at North Shore Hospital have tested positive after a COVID-positive patient received treatment in the adjacent dialysis unit.
  • A fully vaccinated staff member at Auckland City Hospital tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. As of Monday morning, two further hospital staffers have also tested positive. 
  • Pharmac has negotiated an agreement to purchase an initial supply of 60,000 courses of molnupiravir, an antiviral drug that has shown promising results at treating cases of COVID-19.
  • Click here for all the locations of interest.

These live updates have finished.

9:30pm - Police have caught the woman who travelled through Northland with a COVID-infected case.

While police had identified the second woman, she had been on the run while they tried to track her down.

Police say she was found at a west Auckland address on Monday evening.

"The woman has been taken into custody under section 70 of the Health Act and will be transported to an MIQ facility," a police spokesperson says.

"Police are continuing to investigate this matter and will be following up with this individual."

8:00pm - More than 70 patients and staff at Middlemore Hospital are considered contacts after a patient tested positive for COVID-19.

The person came to Middlemore Hospital's Emergency Department on Friday (October 8) for a non-COVID-19 related issue. They answered 'no' to all COVID-19 screening questions and were asymptomatic.

On Sunday (October 10) the patient developed a cough and was tested. The Ministry of Health says they returned a positive COVID-19 result on Monday and were immediately moved to an isolation ward.

As of this evening, 40 patients have been identified as contacts as a result of the exposure event. Of these, 15 are inpatients while the remaining 25 are being followed-up by the Auckland Regional Public Health Service.

In addition, 34 staff have also been identified as contacts. Of these, 21 staff have been stood down with testing plans.

"While there have been a number of exposure events at Middlemore Hospital, this is not unexpected as there are a number of subclusters in south Auckland, for which Middlemore is the local hospital," the Ministry of Health says.

"To date, no exposure events at Middlemore Hospital have resulted in COVID-19 transmission to other patients or staff."

A further update will be included in the Ministry's 1pm statement on Tuesday.

7:10pm - As New Zealand switches from elimination to suppression, those who argue that COVID-19 will become endemic and part of our lives either do not understand or ignore what this would actually mean.

Elimination has always been a tricky word because it implies eradication. But we have only ever eradicated one human disease - smallpox - and are close with several others.

For some, the end of elimination now means we should let the virus spread. But semantics matter less than policy. If we don't eliminate, we must still aim to contain, mop up, reduce close to zero and thwart this pandemic.

Because we certainly cannot live with endemic SARS-CoV-2.

Read the latest analysis from three experts on why COVID-19 can't become endemic in New Zealand.

6:50pm - The New Zealand Principals' Federation (NZPF) says it welcomes the vaccine mandate for principals, teachers, and support staff.

NZPF president Perry Rush says there are few working environments where adults are in such close contact with unvaccinated people, in this case, five to 11-year-olds, for extended periods.

"A 'no jab, no job' policy is a brave decision for Government to take and underscores the threat posed by the COVID Delta strain to our front-line education workers and students," Rush says.

But he says missing from today's announcement was details around the legal processes to implement the policy if staff choose not to be vaccinated after January 1, 2022. Also missing is any commentary on other adults entering the school grounds such as trades people, parents, and other community members.

"We expect to receive more detailed information and a clear process to follow, in due course," Rush adds.

6:30pm - The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says it supports the health worker vaccine mandate as a crucial support for at-risk communities.

NZNO industrial services manager Glenda Alexander says this mandate reflects the significant risk the Delta strain poses to New Zealand.

"While we recognise the need to balance peoples' right to choice, as health workers we have a responsibility to follow the best health evidence and most importantly to keep our communities safe," she says.

"The best thing we can do to minimise the spread of COVID in our hospitals and in our communities is to get vaccinated."

6:10pm - There are several new locations of interest. They are:

  • Three Kings Takeaways Mt Roskill, October 3 from 10:30am to 11:59pm
  • Three Kings Takeaways Mt Roskill, October 4 from 10:30am to 11:59pm
  • Three Kings Takeaways Mt Roskill, October 6 from 10:30am to 11:59pm
  • Pak'nSave Royal Oak, October 4 from 11:45am to 12:30pm
  • Three Kings Takeaways Mt Roskill, October 7 from 10:30am to 11:59pm
  • Three Kings Takeaways Mt Roskill, October 9 from 10:30am to 11:59pm.

5:45pm - Dr Dougal Sutherland, a clinical psychologist at Victoria University of Wellington and Umbrella Wellbeing, says New Zealanders across the country may be feeling a range of emotions due to ongoing restrictions.

Those in the South Island may be feeling frustrated at not being able to move as freely as they like, and those in Northland may be experiencing anxiety around Delta potentially spreading in their area. Some Aucklanders could also experience a sense of resignation and languishing as their restrictions continue.

"Business owners may be stressed to the max; parents worried about children having to continue learning from home and then about them returning to school," Dr Sutherland says.

"As we see a splintering of these emotional responses it can be useful to remember that we don't know other people's stories until we've asked them.

"Assuming we all have a shared response at present could lead to further confusion and frustration as others aren't reacting in the way we think they 'should'."

Dr Sutherland adds that the importance of stopping and checking in on our own state of mind, and extending that same patience and understanding to others, "has never been stronger".

5:30pm - Professor Michael Plank, from Te Pūnaha Matatini and University of Canterbury, says the Government had little option other than to keep Auckland at its current level 3 restrictions.

"It's clear cases are trending upwards and it looks as though the shift from level 4 to level 3 has contributed to pushing the R number (the average number of people an infected person passes virus on to) above 1," he says.

"Moving to step 2 of the reopening roadmap at this stage could easily cause cases to spiral out of control. At current vaccination rates, this could lead to large numbers of people needing to go to hospital."

But Plank says as more people are fully vaccinated, this will bring the R number down as well as reducing the risk of hospitalisation. This will then eventually allow the easing of restrictions. But in the meantime, New Zealanders are still vulnerable and need to remain cautious.

"We are now in a race between the virus and the vaccine. We need to do everything we can to slow the virus down and speed the vaccination programme up. This includes measures to slow inter-regional spread of the outbreak," Plank says. 

"Rapid testing and vaccination requirements for people crossing the Auckland boundary or travelling between North and South islands would help delay the spread of the outbreak into other regions. This won't work forever but it could buy valuable time to vaccinate more people, especially in regions where vaccination rates are currently low."

5:20pm - National's education spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says the Government's "lack of preparedness" is the reason students are missing out on even more time at school.

"It has been known for months that Delta is transmissible in the school environment. Yet the Government didn't make the necessary preparations, including maximising vaccine uptake among teachers, to make sure schools could reopen for term four," he says.

"This situation was entirely predictable and proves the Government is incapable of thinking ahead."

Goldsmith says for students preparing to sit NCEA and other exams, the delay to reopen schools is "a blow" because they need face-to-face time with teachers.

"Online learning is variable and risks intensifying educational inequities. The quality of education a student receives in lockdown should not be a lottery," he says.

"Well before now, the Government should've taken the actions required for schools to safely reopen for term four.

"It's vital that this week is used to fast-track the reopening of schools - vaccination centres on  schools grounds and the use of rapid antigen tests by teachers are key measures the Government must consider."

Paul Goldsmith.
Paul Goldsmith. Photo credit: Getty Images

5:10pm - The New Zealand Medical Association says it welcomes news healthcare workers must be fully vaccinated.

NZMA chairperson Dr Alistair Humphrey says the move will keep patients and healthcare workers safe.

"All doctors should be vaccinated, and we know the vast majority is. Principle 1 of the Code of Ethics for the New Zealand Medical Profession is that the health and well-being of the patient is a doctor's first priority," he says.

Doctors and other healthcare workers are more likely to be exposed to COVID-19 in the course of their work, he adds.

"We called a month ago for all doctors involved in patient care to be fully vaccinated - we're pleased the Government has come to the same view."

5:05pm - During the update, three new locations of interest were announced. They are:

  • Snap Printing Rosedale, October 4 from 10:45am to 10:50am
  • Pak'nSave Royal Oak, October 4 from 11:45am to 12:30pm
  • Pak'nSave Sylvia Park, October 6 from 9am to 10:15am.

5pm - The press conference has finished. To briefly recap:

  • Auckland will remain in current restrictions for another week
  • Northland and Waikato are in level 3 until 11:59pm on Thursday
  • schools will no longer open on October 18
  • a vaccine mandate for health and education workers was announced.

4:57pm - Ardern says she wants vaccine rates to increase before restrictions ease, and they're aspiring to a 90+ percent rate.

4:52pm - There are 33 people in hospital at the moment, seven in ICU.

One of these cases is in Starship Hospital and they can't be vaccinated.

4:49pm - There haven't been any cases from Auckland's slight loosening of restrictions, including from picnics, Ardern says.

4:46pm - Ardern says they're looking to roll out ongoing surveillance testing in high risk environments, as well as rapid antigen tests in some places.

4:41pm - There's no mandate for learners to be vaccinated, Hipkins says, although he encourages them to get the vaccine regardless.

He adds many schools are working with local providers to make vaccinates available at school.

Dr Bloomfield says schools are already required to have the vaccination status of students on hand. 

4:36pm - Ardern says Auckland is in the longest restrictions any area in the country has faced during the pandemic.

She says Australia's experience shows that sticking to restrictions over a long period of time is difficult, which is why they made minor changes to Auckland's settings.

4:30pm - Hipkins says masks will be required in secondary schools throughout the country, not just those currently in stricter restrictions.

4:28pm - Dr Bloomfield says all of the cases in the Waikato are linked and stem from one person.

4:26pm - Ardern says she feels the same frustration as everyone else, concerning the person who can't be located in Northland.

It isn't known if they're COVID-positive or not.

Dr Bloomfield says police have a reasonable level of confidence this person isn't travelling around Northland

4:23pm - Dr Bloomfield says they're making testing widely available across Northland to help get more locals tested.

He says they're wanting to test symptomatic people, anyone who visited a location of interest, or anyone who had contact with the people who travelled around the region and later tested positive.

4:19pm - On Auckland's move to level 2 through the three-phase roadmap, Ardern says they are reviewing the situation weekly.

She encourages everyone in the city who is due for their second dose of their vaccine to get it as soon as possible.

4:16pm - Hipkins says the high vaccination rates will help protect staff from getting sick and passing the virus on.

He also urges everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

4:13pm - The Government has mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for high-risk health workers and school and ECE staff.

He says this is "critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19".

Read all the details here.

4:11pm - Northland will also stay at level until 11:59pm on Thursday, despite no new cases since the case emerged in the region on Friday.

4:08pm - Waikato will stay in alert level 3 until 11:59pm on Thursday.

4:06pm - Auckland will stay at level 3 as it currently stands for another week, Ardern says.

Schools will also not reopen on October 18. Further advice will be made next week. Term 4 will start with distance learning.

4:03pm - Ardern, Hipkins, and Dr Bloomfield have arrived.

Ardern says New Zealand is getting close to countries whose vaccination rates are considered world leading. But she says rates still need to increase.

3:50pm - We are about 10 minutes away from the Government's update on the alert level in Auckland, Waikato, and Northland.

You'll be able to watch the announcement online here. You can also follow along live on this page.

3:35pm - Here's a statement from General Practice New Zealand on anti-vax doctors:

General Practice New Zealand (GPNZ) has advised its primary health organisation (PHO) members that they should report 'anti-vax' doctors to the New Zealand Medical Council, as a major push to maximise uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine gets underway.

Chair of GPNZ and Karori GP, Dr Jeff Lowe said: "GPNZ wholly endorses COVID-19 vaccination for all eligible people. We will continue to do everything possible to support our member PHOs, the general practices they support, and all our colleagues across the health system to promote vaccine uptake.

"Without high levels of vaccination our health system will be overwhelmed. People will die, not just from COVID-19, but from other conditions that go untreated because of the number of people with the virus. It is the duty of health providers to protect our population."

In a communication to PHO CEOs, Dr Lowe said: "We advise our member PHOs that you should notify the relevant professional regulatory body of any circumstances where clinicians in their networks seek to undermine vaccination efforts or promote 'anti-vax' information."

GPNZ endorses the Government's 'Super Saturday' campaign, and PHOs will be supporting practices to open this Saturday to offer vaccines and vaccine information in their local communities.

Dr Lowe said: "We fully support every initiative that will maximise vaccination uptake to protect our people and our health services. The majority of cases in the future are likely to be managed in primary care and high vaccine rates will avoid general practice - which is already under pressure - from being overwhelmed."

He added: "There are many tailored and targeted initiatives that are opening up access to the vaccine to people who may otherwise wait or be hesitant. We need to reach those people as quickly as possible, and PHOs and practices are working in partnership with other providers and community leaders to make that happen."

3:10pm - 'Vaxi vans' about to hit the streets of Auckland

The latest initiative in the drive to get all Aucklanders vaccinated drove off the lot in Māngere on Monday with the launch of the city's first COVID-19 vaccination vans.

Eleven 'vaxi vans' were picked up by Māori, Pacific and primary care providers on Monday morning, with up to 44 camper-vans set to be operating across Tāmaki Makaurau in the coming weeks.

The vans will help the city's health providers get to harder-to-reach communities that may have had difficulties accessing vaccinations.

The vans will offer the jabs as well as an opportunity for kōrero for people who may still have questions about the vaccine.

"The camper-vans are another great way to get to some of those harder to reach places on the edges of Tāmaki Makaurau and to those people who have not yet been able to get their vaccinations," Northern Region Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC) vaccination programme director Matt Hannant said on Monday.

"It is more crucial than ever that we keep providing new ways to get people vaccinated, particularly when we are continuing to see new COVID-19 cases across the city.

"These smaller, more agile vehicles will help our provider partners to get to many of our rural communities or places where people don't have easy transport options. It will also provide them with the flexibility to move to new locations around the city a lot quicker."

The 'vaxi vans' are standard-sized camper-vans that have been fully kitted out with the cold storage required for the vaccine, as well as chairs and other equipment needed to quickly set up vaccinations on roadsides.

The first 11 vans will be operated by Huakina Trust and Turuki Healthcare (both south Auckland Māori health partners), as well as South Seas Healthcare. One van is also being taken up to Wellsford for use by Coast to Coast Healthcare, which part of the Haora Trust. They intend to use the van to get to isolated rural communities in the area.

Maria Clarke, Chair of Huakina Trust said: "The van enables us to alleviate stress for whānau and provides them and us with an agile and safe way to vaccinate them at their homes, schools or marae where they also feel more comfortable. We can take it to where our people are and we're excited about the opportunities that brings."

The vans mark the start of a busy week for the NRHCC as the region's vaccination coordination team prepares for Saturday's 'National Day of Action'.   

On Saturday, all of the region's vaccination centres, along with many GPs and pharmacies, will be staying open late to try to get as many people through the doors as possible.

Pop-up events will be held in a range of locations and the vaccination buses and camper-vans will also be out and about in local communities to provide opportunities for vaccinations closer to home.

2:55pm - An update on Waikato DHB's COVID-19 response

Here's a statement from Waikato DHB about the current situation in the region.

Today there are no new community cases of COVID-19 in the Waikato. The region has a total of 31 cases, which are all linked. 

There are 16 cases in Raglan, 12 in Hamilton, two in Cambridge and one in Kawhia - 31 total.

In the week to Sunday, October 10, 51,947 vaccinations were delivered in the Waikato. This is 25,000 more than planned and includes 10,397 vaccinations delivered on Thursday, October 7, the biggest day for the Waikato since the vaccination programme began in February. 

The bulk of Thursday's vaccinations (62pct) were delivered by Waikato DHB's primary care partners, demonstrating the degree of community collaboration within the Waikato COVID-19 vaccination programme. 

Pop-up testing and vaccinations continue to operate in Raglan on Monday with testing at the Raglan rugby grounds' car park and vaccinations at Raglan Area School. From Tuesday, testing will move to the school and vaccinations will be held at the rugby club, where there is capacity to vaccinate in larger numbers. 

Pop-up testing continues in Hamilton at Claudelands Event Centre and Te Kōhao Health on Wairere Drive, alongside the ongoing community testing centre at Founders Theatre. 

Testing sites in Te Rapa Hamilton, Kawhia, Karapiro, Tokoroa and Huntly are no longer operating as demand has reduced and can be met through general practices. 

  • Total tests taken across the Waikato on Sunday, October 10: 2174 

People can also get tested on appointment at GP practices across the region, including designated GP practices that take enrolled and non-enrolled patients. See Healthpoint for a full list of options. 

It is important that our testing facilities are available for those priority individuals who meet the criteria for seeking a test at this time. This allows us to rapidly investigate whether there has been any community spread.  

Anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms, is following guidance relating to a location of interest or has been directed by Healthline or a GP should seek a test immediately. 

Otherwise, people should call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or their GP for guidance before seeking a test.  

It is free to get a COVID-19 test, wherever you go. 

COVID-19 testing centres 

The availability of community testing centres is based on our assessment of demand and may change daily. Locations for community testing are updated in this advisory, on our website, on Healthpoint and on our Facebook page as soon as they are confirmed for the next day.  

GP practices 

General practices across the Waikato are testing patients and designated GPs are testing non-patients also. See Healthpoint for a full list of GPs offering COVID-19 testing or call your GP to check. COVID-19 tests are free. Please ring first to make an appointment. 

Update on COVID-19 vaccinations in the Waikato DHB region 

Reporting on vaccination rates is provided at TLA level. This data is as at 1.18pm, October 11, 2021. 

Territorial local authority  

1st doses  

2nd doses  

1st doses as a pct of eligible population 

Fully vaccinated as a pct of eligible population 


Hamilton City 






Hauraki District  






Matamata-Piako District  






Otorohanga District  






Ruapehu District  






South Waikato District  






Thames-Coromandel District  






Waikato District  






Waipa District  






Waitomo District  






Waikato region 






Data at SA2 level (approximately equivalent to suburb) is available on the Ministry of Health website.  

Vaccination data 

To date (as at 9.04am, October 10), 478,973 COVID-19 vaccinations have been delivered in the Waikato. 

  • 281,264 first doses have been administered 

  • 197,709 second doses have been administered 

  • On Sunday 10 October, 3295 vaccinations were delivered across the Waikato. 

Pop-up vaccination sites 

The pop-up at Raglan Area School, 42 Norrie Avenue, is operating again on Monday from 10am to 3pm.  

Vaccinations moves to Raglan rugby grounds car park from Tuesday, October 12 from 10am – 3pm (closed on Wednesday). 

Vaccination clinics 

  • Walk-in appointments are available at many vaccination sites across the Waikato. 

  • People can now also bus free to and from their vaccination appointment if they show proof of their booking. See for more details. 

  • Mobile vaccination clinics are rolling out across the takiwā with regular visits to locations through to the end of the year. The schedule is on the Waikato DHB website and will be regularly updated with more dates and locations. 

Reminder - making a vaccination appointment 

Although walk-ins are available at many vaccination sites, the best way of guaranteeing a vaccination on the time, day and place of your choosing is still to book.  

  • If you have made a booking and are not able to attend your appointment, please cancel your booking so someone else can use that appointment time.  

  • If you are unsure when your appointment is, check on the booking system at using your contact number or email address and booking reference. Alternatively, you can call 0800 28 29 26 for assistance. 

  • Everyone aged 12+ can now visit to make their bookings. 

  • We ask everyone when attending their appointments under alert level 3 to follow the key public health measures detailed on the Unite Against COVID-19 website

Update on changes to hospital services 

To help protect our patients, staff and community as our Public Health service investigate these cases, Waikato DHB is limiting the number of people at our facilities.  

A restricted visitor policy was put in place from Sunday afternoon in response to the two new community cases. The full policy can be viewed on our website

From 4 October non-urgent face-to-face outpatient appointments, community services and surgeries have been deferred. 

Wherever possible we will be shifting appointments to phone and/or telehealth options. 

We acknowledge this will cause some inconvenience and appreciate the community's understanding as we prioritise patient safety at this time. As our investigations progress we will continue to review this approach. 

DHB staff will be contacting affected individuals with urgent procedures to confirm their appointments are going ahead or to provide details for telehealth. 

Anyone who is not contacted prior to their appointment should please assume it has been deferred and they will be contacted at a later date to reschedule as required. 

If people have flu-like symptoms 

Do not come into the hospital if you have cold or flu-like symptoms. 

If you are concerned about your risk of COVID-19, please ring Healthline (0800 358 5453). They will tell you if you need to be tested and what to do next. 

  • It is free to get a COVID-19 test 

  • GPs are able to provide assessment and testing – please phone your practice first 

  • Please do not turn up to your GP without an appointment 

  • After hours, you can be seen at an urgent care clinic 

  • We recommend you take your NHI number with you, which can speed up the timeframe to receive your test results.

2:40pm - National leader Judith Collins is calling for an uncooperative COVID-19 case, who travelled from Auckland to Northland last week with a fraudulent travel exemption, to be named and shamed. 

Collins said on Monday it's only fair the woman's identity is made public, comparing the situation to an Auckland couple who broke the restrictions by travelling to Wānaka last month - both faced the wrath of the public after being identified. 

"Let's find out who this person is and see if they still want to be uncooperative," Collins told Magic Talk's Leah Panapa. 

"And why I say that Leah - it's a bit harsh - but you'll remember the couple who left Auckland to go to Wānaka. You'll remember what happened to them. They have been publicly named, shamed, charged; one of them being a lawyer may well have her legal career seriously damaged. 

"They tested negative apparently before they went to Wānaka. They obviously misused their travel exemptions. 

"It now appears that this woman, her exemption was forged, so you've got an entirely even worse situation. Well, let's name this person and things will become more clear." 

Read more here.

2:25pm - Leading epidemiologist Michael Baker is warning the Government not to further relax restrictions in Auckland following a dramatic spike in cases on Sunday.

At 4pm, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will reveal the next steps in the alert level settings for Auckland, Northland and parts of Waikato - all of which are at alert level 3. 

But there were 60 new cases in the community on Sunday and 35 on Monday. Fifty-six of Sunday's cases, and all 35 on Monday, were detected in Auckland.

Speaking to The AM Show on Monday, Baker, from the University of Otago, said the number of people being hospitalised with COVID-19 is already a cause for concern. The latest Ministry of Health data shows there are 33 cases in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care. 

Baker described Sunday's spike as an "exponential rise".

"We know, at the moment, we're seeing about 10 percent of cases who are going to hospital - which is actually a very high proportion," Baker said.

He said the Government needed to act accordingly.

"A lot of it comes down to the ability of the health system to manage the numbers," Baker told host Ryan Bridge.

"We have to act early rather than waiting until the system's overwhelmed."

Baker said the Government should still look to implement the elimination strategy, but noted it would be far more difficult to eradicate the virus in Auckland.

"The broad goal is still elimination ideally but in Auckland, we may have to settle for [continual] cases [over] the next couple of months until we can get really high vaccine coverage."

Read more here.

2:15pm - Two new potential exposure events have been added as of 2pm.

Anyone who visited Pak'nSave Albany between 8pm and 10pm on Thursday, September 30 or Kumeu Laundromat between 12am and 2am on Thursday, October 7 is asked to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the date of exposure. If symptoms develop, get a test and stay at home until a negative result is returned - AND for 24 hours after symptoms resolve.

1:45pm - New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has not taken too kindly to the Northlnd region being plunged back under alert level 3 restrictions.

The region entered a snap lockdown on Friday after a COVID-positive woman breached Auckland's boundary and travelled throughout Northland last week. She has since refused to cooperate with officials.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says officials haven't at this stage "been able to fully establish" why the infected woman travelled to Northland, however it's understood she used false documents to cross the checkpoints stationed at the northern border.

Northland-based Peters, the former Deputy Prime Minister, told The AM Show the system is a shambles.

"We're in lockdown without a case at all - Katikati's got a case and they're not in lockdown."

The Katikati case Peters was referring to has since tested negative for COVID-19. The case was detected on Saturday - they got tested while in Auckland on Friday and received a positive result after returning to Katikati, near Tauranga. They were in the process of moving to the area. 

Peters also doubled-down on his suspicions the Northland case is gang-affiliated after first making the claims over the weekend. 

"Was there any association between the Mongrel Mob and these two women?... In terms of the health of Northlanders, we should know that now," Peters told The AM Show. 

The Prime Minister has reiterated there is no evidence to suggest the case is linked to a gang.

Read more here.

1:30pm - Here's a checkpoint compliance update from the police:

Since alert level 3 came into place, 19 people have been charged with a total of 20 offences in Tāmaki Makaurau, Northland, and parts of the Waikato as of 5pm on Sunday, October 10.

Of these, 15 were for Failing to Comply with Order (COVID-19), two were for Failure to Comply with Direction/Prohibition/Restriction, one was a Health Act breach and two were for Assaults/Threatens/Hinders/Obstructs Enforcement Officer.

In the same time period, 24 people were formally warned.

Police have received a total of 3283 breach notifications online relating to businesses, mass gatherings or people in Tāmaki Makaurau, Northland, and parts of the Waikato.

Checkpoint figures

As of 11:59pm on Sunday, 580,508 vehicles have now been stopped at the checkpoints on Auckland's northern and southern boundaries, 8124 of which have been turned around.

On Sunday, 9483 vehicles were processed at the checkpoints, 161 of which were turned around.

A total of 26 out of 1856 vehicles were turned away at the northern checkpoints yesterday, while 135 vehicles out of 7627 were turned around at the southern border. 

As of 11:59pm on Sunday, 29,762 heavy vehicles have now been stopped, 1011 of which were turned around after atempting to leave Tāmaki Makaurau - 26 of those were turned around on Sunday.

1:20pm - Here are today's key developments in the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • There are 35 new cases, all in Auckland
  • Twenty-one of today's cases have yet to be epidemiologically linked
  • There are 33 cases in hospital, seven of whom are in the ICU
  • A follow-up test for a person in Katikati, in the Bay of Plenty region, returned a negative result
  • Two staff members have returned positive results after a COVID-positive patient case received treatment in the dialysis unit adjacent to North Shore Hospital
  • A fully vaccinated staff member at Auckland City Hospital tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend - two further hospital staffers have also tested positive
  • Of the three, two were tested at a community testing site while one was tested as part of routine workplace surveillance
  • Whole genome sequencing for the case who travelled from Auckland to Northland has been completed on the initial sample, confirming the case is linked to the Auckland outbreak
  • A second person who is thought to have travelled with this case has been contacted but not yet located

  • There are no new community cases to report in Waikato today, with all 31 existing cases linked to the original index case in the region
  • A previously reported case, an individual from Auckland who tested positive in Palmerston North, was transferred on Friday to Palmerston North Hospital and is currently receiving treatment.

1:14pm - There are 35 community cases of COVID-19 to report today.

Here is the full press release from the Ministry of Health:

There are 35 new community cases today – all are in the Auckland region.

Of these cases, 14 have known links to existing cases (including four household contacts) and 21 remain under investigation.

Due to time of reporting, the previously reported case in the Bay of Plenty region is included in the case tally today, however it is understood to be under investigation, after a follow-up test returned a negative result (further details are below).



Number of new community cases


Number of new cases identified at the border



Location of new community cases

Auckland (35)

Location of community cases (total)

Auckland 1,573 (1,153 of whom have recovered); Waikato 31; Wellington 17 (all of whom have recovered); Bay of Plenty 1

Number of community cases (total)

1,622 (in current community outbreak)

Cases infectious in the community  

29 of yesterday's cases have exposure events (51pct)

Cases in isolation throughout the period they were infectious  

28 of yesterday's cases (49pct)

Cases epidemiologically linked

14 of today's 35 cases

Cases to be epidemiologically linked

21 of today's 35 cases. Interviews are ongoing to determine how they're linked  

Cases epidemiologically linked (total)

1,534 (in the current cluster) (58 unlinked from the past 14 days)

Number of sub-clusters

16 epidemiologically linked subclusters. Of these, six are active, zero are contained and 10 are dormant. There are 14 epidemiologically unlinked subclusters. Of these, five are active, zero are contained and nine are dormant.

Cases in hospital

33 (total): North Shore (5); Middlemore (16); Auckland (9); Starship Hospital (1); Waikato Base Hospital (1); Palmerston North Hospital (1)

Cases in ICU or HDU


Confirmed cases (total)

4,300 since pandemic began

Historical cases, since 1 Jan 2021 (total)

168 out of 2,485 since 1 Jan 2021. One previously reported community case is now reclassified as historical.



Number of active contacts being managed (total):


Percentage who have received an outbound call from contact tracers (to confirm testing and isolation requirements)


Percentage with at least one test result


Locations of interest


Locations of interest (total)

362 (as at 10am 11 October)



Number of tests (total)


Number of tests total (last 24 hours)


Tests processed in Auckland (last 24 hours)


Tests rolling average (last 7 days)


Testing centres in Auckland




Wastewater detections

No unexpected detections in the last 24 hours.

COVID-19 vaccine update


Vaccines administered to date (total)

5,832,277; 1st doses: 3,447,494; 2nd doses: 2,384,783

Vaccines administered yesterday (total)

42,226; 1st doses: 9,083; 2nd doses: 33,143


1st doses: 346,353; 2nd doses: 213,742

Pacific Peoples

1st doses: 219,096; 2nd doses: 146,626

Vaccines administered to Auckland residents to date (total)

2,123,757: 1st doses: 1,239,955 (87pct); 2nd doses: 883,802 (62pct)

Vaccines administered to Auckland residents yesterday (total)

17,017: 1st doses: 2,497; 2nd doses: 14,520

NZ COVID-19 tracer


Registered users (total)


Poster scans (total)


Manual diary entries (total)


Poster scans in 24 hours to midday yesterday



Bay of Plenty test result confirmed negative

The Ministry of Health can confirm that a follow-up test, for a person currently in Katikati, in the Bay of Plenty region, returned a negative result.

While the case remains under investigation, the public health risk is deemed low given the person's vaccination status, regular test history, good use of the NZ COVID Tracer app and rapid contact, testing and isolation of family members, all of whom also returned negative results.

The Ministry would like to thank the individuals involved for their cooperation and Toi Te Ora Public Health for their precautionary approach, taking swift action to ensure public health safety.

North Shore Hospital update

Two staff members have now returned positive results for COVID-19 following a positive case reported yesterday in a patient receiving treatment in the dialysis unit adjacent to North Shore Hospital.

The connection between the three cases is being investigated.

A number of staff have been stood down initially as a precaution, and all those staff who have been tested have returned negative results.

The dialysis unit remains open, with measures in place to manage potential risk to both patients and staff. This includes use of PPE and intensive cleaning between each group of patients and plans to use a mix of rapid PCR and rapid antigen testing for staff prior to them starting their shift.

Auckland City Hospital staff member

Auckland DHB last night informed the Ministry that a fully vaccinated staff member tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.

Auckland City Hospital has now identified all contacts of the staff member, to carry out testing onsite for staff and patients.

We have been informed this morning that two further hospital staff members have tested positive. Of the three, two were tested at a community testing site while one was tested as part of routine workplace surveillance.

Initial investigations have shown there are no links to the NICU parent case.

It's important to note Auckland City Hospital has Infection, Prevention and Control protocols in place and unless you're contacted by public health staff, patients and whanau who've been at the hospital you won't need to do anything further.

With more than 12,000 staff, the DHB is one of the biggest employers in Auckland so it is not unexpected that there will be staff members who acquire COVID within the community.

Update on Auckland case who travelled to Northland

Whole genome sequencing for the Auckland case who travelled to Northland has been completed on the initial sample, confirming the case is linked to the Auckland outbreak.

Due to sample quality limitations, whole genome sequencing could not link the case to a specific cluster, however resampling has been undertaken and ESR are working to improve the data quality of additional sequencing.

The case remains in an Auckland quarantine facility.

A second person who is thought to have travelled with this case has been contacted but not yet located.  

The case was under investigation after returning a weak positive result from a test in Whangarei earlier this week and Friday returned a positive test result in Auckland.  

Public health staff continue to work closely with the person to determine any locations of interest or exposure events associated with the case. There are currently 21 close contacts associated with this case. The household of the case and travel companion are included in this number.

As these become available they will be added to the Ministry's website as quickly as possible. We ask people to check these regularly, especially if you have visited, or live in Auckland, Waikato or Northland.  

Anyone in Northland should remain vigilant for symptoms, particularly anyone who has visited a location of interest or been in an area of interest at the times specified should get tested and isolate until they receive the result.

Northland testing and vaccination centres

In Northland, health officials are pleased with the weekend's testing numbers, with 738 tests carried out yesterday. Over the past four days, nearly 3,000 tests (2,985) have been undertaken.

Today there are five testing sites available across the region:

Whangarei – Rock and Roll car park, Pohe Island (9am–4pm); Kamo, 20 Winger Crescent (9am –4pm)

Dargaville – Dargaville Hospital (9am-4pm)

Kerikeri – 1 Sammaree Place (9am-4pm)

Kaitaia – Kaitaia Hospital, 29 Redan Road (9am-4pm)  

Northland DHB, local iwi and providers are also working hard to ensure as many Northlanders are vaccinated as possible.

Four clinics are open for vaccinations today at Kaitaia, Whangarei, Dargaville, and Kerikeri.

Kaitaia – The Old Warehouse Building, 11 Matthews Ave (10am-5pm)

Whangarei – Northland Events Centre (10am-5pm)

Dargaville - 22a Normanby St (11am-6pm)

Kerikeri – 1 Sammaree Place (9am-4pm)

Yesterday, 459 first doses and 630 second doses were administered, totalling 1,089 doses across Northland.

To date, 188,382 doses have been administered across Northland, comprising 110,446 first doses and 77,936 second doses.

Waikato update

There are no new community cases to report in Waikato today, with all 31 existing cases linked to the original index case in the region.

Yesterday across the region, 1,212 swabs were taken, and 3,292 vaccinations administered.

There are three pop-up testing centres operating today at Claudelands Event Centre, Te Kohao Health in Hamilton East, and one at Raglan, as well as the existing testing centre at Founders Theatre.

Further details on exact locations and hours of testing sites are available on the Healthpoint and Waikato DHB sites.  

MidCentral case update

A previously reported case, in an individual from Auckland, who tested positive in Palmerston North and who had been in isolation on the hospital grounds was transferred on Friday (8 October) to Palmerston North Hospital and is currently receiving treatment.

The Ministry understands from MidCentral DHB the patient is in a stable condition.

Testing and vaccinations

The two best tools we have in the continued fight against COVID-19 are testing and vaccinations – the numbers for both continue to be high.

The Ministry of Health urges anyone who has symptoms, no matter how mild, to please get tested and isolate until they receive the result. For COVID-19 testing locations nationwide, visit the Healthpoint website.

Additionally, anyone who hasn't already done so should book their COVID-19 vaccination today.

Getting vaccinated is the best protection against COVID-19, and will help to accelerate our economic recovery, reduce the risk of future lockdowns, and safely allow New Zealand's borders to begin re-opening.

1:10pm - We are waiting for an update from the Ministry of Health, including the latest case numbers. We will publish the statement as soon as we receive it.

1pm - New potential exposure events have been added to the official list of locations of interest.

The additions include another date for Kingswood Manor Motel in Whangarei - Sunday, October 3 as well as Monday, October 4 - and two laundromats, one in Kumeu and one on Thornlow Rd.

Three dates have also been identified for BNT Automotive, an auto-parts store in Grafton.

For full details and advice, click here.

As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Monday, October 11
As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Monday, October 11

12:50pm - There are currently three people with COVID-19 in Corrections custody, chief custodial officer Neil Beales has confirmed to Newshub.

They are all men who were taken into custody at Mt Eden Corrections Facility this month.

Two of the men returned positive results for COVID-19 prior to coming into custody, and the third was a known associate of a positive case. All three men were immediately placed into a dedicated quarantine area, where they have been cared for by fully vaccinated staff wearing full four-point PPE, including masks, gloves, gowns and eye protection, Beales said.

No Corrections staff or people in prison are considered close contacts due to the way the three men have been managed.

Two of the men remain in the site's dedicated quarantine area, while one is currently in hospital. Corrections officers are with the man in hospital to ensure the safety of the prisoner, hospital staff, and the public.

"As an organisation, our top priority is safety – of the public, our staff, visitors to our sites and the people we are managing in prisons and the community," Beales said.

"As we have seen in prisons internationally, the impact of COVID-19 can be devastating. We have a duty of care to the men and women we manage in prisons, and to our staff. We are well prepared for this situation, having successfully managed other cases of COVID-19 with no transmission between prisoners or staff.

"Since March 2020 we have put in place extensive plans to manage any risk to our staff or the people we manage, including robust infection prevention and control plans at all alert levels, with detailed record keeping for both staff and visitors to our sites to enable fast and thorough contact tracing."

12:45pm - There will be no press conference at 1pm today - instead, the Ministry of Health will release the latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak via a statement. We will publish this release as soon as receive it.

There will be a post-Cabinet press conference at 4pm, fronted by Jacinda Ardern, Chris Hipkins and Dr Ashley Bloomfield. During this stand-up, Ardern will announce Cabinet's decisions regarding the alert level settings for Auckland, Northland and Waikato.

12:35pm - A recap of the current vaccination statistics: 

12:25pm - Nearly one million doses of the Pfizer vaccine are due to expire by the end of the January, Stuff reports, but Medsafe says the vials will be used "well before" then.

As many as 55,770 vials of Pfizer - each containing up to six doses - are set to expire before the end of the year. Another 101,790 vials are due to expire by January 31, totalling 945,360 doses - enough to fully vaccinate more than 470,000 people.

More doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive this month to replenish the Government's stockpile.

Expired vaccines are destroyed.

"We manage our stock on a 'first to expire, first out' process and expect all these vials to be used well before their expiry date," Medsafe group manager Chris James told Stuff.

According to Medsafe, once at 2 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius, a vial of the Pfizer vaccine cannot be returned to the freezer and must be disposed of after 31 days or on the vial's expiration date, whichever happens first.

In the longer term, the vaccine needs to be kept at ultra-low temperatures (-90 degrees Celsius to -60 degrees Celsius) for up to six months.

12:10pm - There's no evidence to support claims a COVID-positive woman who illegally crossed the Auckland-Northland boundary last week is a sex worker, the Prime Minister says.

Jacinda Ardern also reiterates there's nothing to indicate the woman is linked to gangs, despite her former Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters, claiming over the weekend that there is an affiliation. Peters doubled-down on his suspicions on Monday.

Northland entered a snap alert level 3 lockdown on Friday night after the woman apparently used false travel documents to enter the region. She subsequently tested positive for the virus.

But following speculation the woman was a sex worker, Ardern said on Monday there was no evidence to support that claim.

"There's been no evidence to suggest that's the case here," Ardern told The AM Show, adding she'd been given that advice by the police. 

"Also, that would not be the basis on which someone would be able to travel."

Ardern said the Government hasn't "at this stage, necessarily, been able to fully establish" why the infected woman travelled to Northland. She was accompanied by another person, who Ardern said was also a woman. 

Read more here.

11:55am - As the Auckland, Northland and Waikato regions brace for another alert level decision, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ruled out setting specific targets - but there are certain things she's looking for. 

"The message for Aucklanders: we will take into consideration two things," Ardern told The AM Show on Monday. 

"Vaccination rates - we already know they are making a difference, they've reduced this outbreak by up to 50 percent, according to some modelling. The higher we go, the greater impact it will have on the outbreak and our ability to keep stamping it out.

"The second thing we'll take into account is the outbreak itself, the numbers that we see, and our ability to continue to control it.

"We've still taken the same approach today that we took on day one - we aggressively contact trace, we aggressively try and manage, and we aggressively try and associate every single [case]. 

"But if we see, for instance, restrictions not being complied with or followed, and we see an increase in cases, that makes it very, very difficult for us to continue to be aggressive, which is why we need both at the moment and we need everyone's help."

But Ardern wouldn't say how high vaccination rates need to be in order for restrictions to ease across the three regions, nor how many new cases would be acceptable to allow some more freedoms for Aucklanders. 

Read more about what Cabinet is looking for ahead of their alert level decision.

11:45am - Dr Rawiri McKree Jansen, the clinical director of the National Hauora Coalition, says anyone working in a frontline role should be vaccinated against COVID-19.

"All staff working in frontline roles (patient or consumer or customer facing roles) should be vaccinated. This is necessary to prevent them from being in harm's way, and it is necessary to protect the patient, customer or consumer," Dr Jansen said on Monday.

He says there is a raft of additional public health measures that should also be mandated. In August, the Government made face coverings mandatory for everyone over the age of 12 when accessing essential services. In July, vaccinations were made mandatory for port and airport workers at the greatest risk of exposure to the virus.

Dr Jansen says scanning, physical distancing and ventilation should also be mandated.

"We need to elevate the focus from [a] vaccine mandate to a suite of [public health] mandates. This includes scanning (or recording attendance), safe distancing, ventilation, masks, hygiene, and to stay at home if unwell."

11:30am - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has addressed the heightened restrictions in Northland after the region was plunged into alert level 3 on Friday night.

The lockdown was prompted after a COVID-positive woman visited the region using what officials say were false travel documents.

Watch the Prime Minister's interview on The AM Show below.

11:25am - Fund allows more Pacific community-led vaccinations

The Government has made $1.1 million available through the 'Prepare Pacific Community Vaccination Fund' to directly support community-led initiatives towards increasing vaccinations among Pacific people, Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio, announced on Monday.

"The best way to protect our communities from COVID-19 is through vaccination. We need to explore every avenue to ensure we can vaccinate every eligible person in our Pacific communities. That means allowing our communities to take greater ownership to reach those people we are having difficulty in reaching. These are people some community and church organisations are engaging with on a day-by-day basis," Sio said.

The current data shows 75 percent of Pacific people have received their first dose of the vaccine - 48 percent are fully vaccinated.

"I'm proud of the great response to the vaccination clinics delivered through Pacific models of care. But there is still so much more we need to do to reach at least 90 percent to protect our Pacific communities," Sio said.

"The 'Prepare Pacific Community Vaccination Fund', being administered through The Cause Collective, is available mainly for Pacific community groups in the Auckland region, where most of our Pacific population live. However, applications from outside the region may also be considered.

"Pacific ethnic specific community groups, Pacific churches, Pacific youth groups and other groups that work with marginalised Pacific communities will be eligible to apply from $500 up to $40,000 from the Prepare Pacific Vaccination Fund. Successful initiatives will be expected to demonstrate the ability to increase vaccinations for Pacific peoples."

The Prepare Pacific Vaccination Fund is now open and will run until June 30, 2022 or when funds have been fully distributed. Visit the website here.

"Through this fund we are asking our Pacific communities to answer our call, to rise up to the challenge as you've done so many times before and play your part in keeping us all safe from COVID-19."

11:15am - There are now reportedly three confirmed cases of COVID-19 inside Auckland's Mt Eden prison.

Stuff understands the most recent case arrived at the remand facility over the weekend.

All three are reportedly quarantined in the dedicated 'Echo' unit.

Roughly three weeks ago, a member of the Black Power gang tested positive for the virus after being taken back into custody for an alleged breach of his bail conditions.

The man has now recovered and is not included in the current three, Stuff understands.

A briefing emailed from the prison's management on Monday morning said there were currently three confirmed cases at the site, according to the outlet. 

10:50am - The ACT Party is welcoming the Government's purchase of 60,000 courses of the antiviral pill, molnupiravir - a drug that has shown promising results at reducing hospitalisations and deaths in COVID-19 patients. 

"It's great to see that the Government has finally gone hard and early in embracing new technologies," ACT's deputy leader and health spokesperson, Brooke van Velden, said on Monday.

"This decision is critical to reducing hospitalisations and opening New Zealand up again. The Government has done the right thing by using PHARMAC and not MBIE to purchase this drug.

"The Government now needs to tell New Zealanders when the drugs will arrive in the country and what its approval process will be."

If given regulatory approval by Medsafe, molnupiravir would be used to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand. In an announcement, pharmaceutical giant Merck said a trial of the investigational oral antiviral medicine found the drug significantly reduced the risk of hospitalisation or death in at risk, non-hospitalised adult patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19.

"At the interim analysis, molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalisation or death by approximately 50 percent," it said.

But van Velden says the Government shouldn't have to wait for Medsafe approval.

"It can take years for Medsafe to approve medicines already approved by the FDA [United States Food and Drug Administration] or the TGA [Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration].

"When molnupiravir is approved by the FDA or the TGA in Australia, we should be free to use it. New Zealand should be first equal in the world.

"We can't continue to lock down and spend billions fighting COVID-19."

Read more about PHARMAC's agreement to purchase molnupiravir here.

10:25am - Six new potential exposure events have been added by the Ministry of Health.

One of the new locations of interest is the Kingswood Manor Motel in Whangārei.

For full details and advice, click here.

As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Monday, October 11

10:20am - From October 15 to October 18, Wellington's Sky Stadium is hosting more drive-through vaccination events for the community. 

10:10am - Prime Minister Ardern told The AM Show on Monday there's a lot to consider about whether to ease restrictions, especially when it comes to Auckland - which remains the epicentre of the Delta outbreak.

"[We'll] look at the cases… look at vaccination levels," she said.

Host Ryan Bridge asked Ardern if there was a vaccination percentage target in Auckland where restrictions could ease further.

"We will take into consideration two things; vaccination rates, we already know they are making a difference - they have reduced this outbreak by up to 50 percent, according to some modelling," Ardern said.

"The second thing we'll take into account is the outbreak itself; the numbers that we see, our ability to continue to control it - we've still taken the same approach today that we did on day one. We aggressively contact trace, we aggressively try and manage.

"In the many other conversations I've had with other countries who have used targets, they've all said to me, 'Don't use targets,' and one of the reasons is because they've found that when they've reached those places, they haven't necessarily been in the right place to remove [restrictions].

"Or, who knows? There may be circumstances in which we could move earlier," she said.

Read the full story here.

9:45am - Fiji Airways has announced that flights to the country will officially resume for fully vaccinated international travellers from December 1, 2021. 

The airline plans to launch daily flights from Auckland to Fiji (Nadi), three flights a week from Christchurch, and two flights a week from Wellington.

Kiwis could be among the first to holiday in one of the world's first fully vaccinated tourist destinations, with Fiji on track to have the entire working population vaccinated by November. 

All arriving travellers must be fully vaccinated, present evidence of a 72-hour negative RT-PCR test prior to boarding, and complete an additional rapid test at their pre-booked resort or hotel upon arrival before commencing their holiday quarantine free.

"After almost two years of no tourism, we cannot wait to welcome back international travellers from 1 December and greet them with our famous Fijian hospitality," Fiji Airways Managing Director & CEO Andre Viljoen said.  "As soon as they're ready to travel to Fiji, we will give our Kiwi whānau and friends a big bula welcome onboard our aircraft and safely transport them to a well-deserved vacation in paradise." 

9:20am - Whangārei's mayor Sheryl Mai is pleading for the woman who travelled to Northland with a positive COVID-19 case to come forward to health authorities.

The woman has not yet been found. Her companion, who tested positive, is also being uncooperative with authorities.

Mai told First Up the lack of cooperation was putting them at risk.

"I think that's the general sense: 'why can't they just cooperate and say where they've been and put us out of our misery?", she said.

"We're grateful there's no cases, we've had really good boost in vaccinations, but we're on tenterhooks."

"The main message is: get tested anyway, let's just make sure, even if people are feeling well they may be in early stages, they may have been in contact. By far the best thing everyone can do is get a test, and even better get vaccinated - and stay home in level 3."

8:55am - The National Iwi Chairs Pandemic Response Group is calling on all Kiwis to respect the COVID-19 travel restrictions to slow down the spread of the outbreak.

Spokesperson Mike Smith says it's crucial we prevent a spike in infections, which could overwhelm New Zealand's hospitals.

He says the best way of achieving this is for people to stay home in their bubbles.

"What we do over the next days and weeks will make a huge difference to what happens over the next months into next year," he says. "The choice is either runaway infection rates or a controlled rate that allows hospitals to cope with the expected influx of patients needing specialist care."

Lisa Tumahai, co-leader of the NICF Pandemic Response Group and chairperson of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, says they are calling on youth to lead the way.

"Our young people are experts at communicating using technology and we ask that they use these methods to support the call to stay safe at home in their bubbles, and if you haven’t been vaccinated yet we urge you to get your jab today."

Tumahai also encouraged the police to "work with Iwi border protectors to support the protection of vulnerable communities and ensure police resources are not stretched too thin".

8:30am - Several petrol stations and supermarkets in Auckland and Waikato have been added to the list of locations of interest. They are:

  • Mobil Wiri
  • Countdown Te Atatu South
  • BP Raglan
  • New World Mt Roskill
  • Countdown Auckland Metro
As it happened: Latest on COVID-19 community outbreak - Monday, October 11

8:20am - Prof Baker says for Aucklanders, it's not just a matter of being asked to do something like a lockdown, but residents need to know why they are doing it.

8:15am - Prof Michael Baker said he "of course" feels uneasy about the "exponential rise" of COVID-19 cases in Auckland.

On Sunday, 60 new cases were reported.

He says it's now about the ability of the health system to manage the cases. But he was worried as there seems to be a high number of hospitalisations per cases.

"It will put a high pressure on the health system.. We need to act early rather than wait until the system is overwhelmed."

8:05am - Ardern told Morning Report the person who travelled from Auckland to Katikati before testing positive for COVID-19 originally returned "what's called a high CT" result.

A second test has since returned a negative result.

Ardern said the positive high CT result could be a result of the person still having COVID-19 antibodies from a historic infection.

7:55am - Ardern says she does want to see an increase in Māori vaccination rates and more older Kiwis need to get vaccinated.

Ardern says there isn't a specific vaccination rate, which when New Zealand hit, would cause the Government to lower the alert levels. She said making those decisions is more nuanced than that.

"A blanket number tells you a bit but certainly not enough to make decisions."

7:50am - Ardern told The AM Show there is no evidence to support claims either the COVID-19 case who travelled through Auckland or the person they travelled with were male.

She said CCTV demonstrated that they were two women. 

"Nothing to suggest there are any other individuals involved."

Ardern also confirmed health authorities know their accommodation while in the area, along with other locations of interest.

She says there continues to be a lack of cooperation with the case and health authorities which is frustrating.

7:45am - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Cabinet will review the number of cases over the past few days, vaccination levels and health advice when considering whether to change alert levels on Monday.

7:40am - Data modelling expert Shaun Hendy says Auckland's daily COVID-19 case numbers could reach triple figures by the end of October.

Hendy told RNZ as cases trend upwards, the outbreak is at a critical point.

"It is possible that we could end up in the triple digits so that's something that the government should be considering and it should be developing a plan for what happens ... because that will put real strain on the health system in Auckland," he said.

He said if numbers do reach triple figures, an alert level 4 lockdown would be required as a circuit breaker.

7:29am - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has told Breakfast the person who travelled to Katikati from Auckland has tested negative on their second COVID-19 test.

Their family members have also tested negative.

6:55am - A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health has confirmed to Newshub the number of close contacts of the COVID-19 case in Northland.

"Information provided by the Auckland Regional Public Health Service is that there are currently 19 close contacts associated with this case. The travel companion is a contact included in this number."

6:40am - Leader of New Zealand First Winston Peters will be joining The AM Show at 7:10am to talk about the Government's COVID-19 response and the COVID-19 case in Northland.

Then at 7:40am, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will be on the show to provide a COVID-19 update. She'll also be questioned on Pharmac's agreement to purchase antiviral drug molnupiravir, to potentially treat Kiwis with COVID-19, and the Government's plan to require teachers at every level to be vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Following at 8:10am, Epidemiologist Michael Baker will provide some insight into the latest COVID-19 numbers.

You can watch the show at, on Three and on Magic Talk.