Coronavirus - Latest on the COVID-19 community outbreak - Saturday, November 13

Auckland is in its first weekend at level 3 step 2 on the back of the second-highest one-day total of new cases.

Taupo has recorded a new case after a person tested positive for COVID-19. 

Major centres in the country have been affected by more protests on Saturday, with those opposed to lockdowns and other COVID measures driving slowly on main roads to cause congestion.

What you need to know 

  • There were 175 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday - 159 in Auckland, eight in Waikato, two in Northland, one in Lakes, and five in Taranaki. Those five Taranaki cases are part of the six announced on Thursday night.

  • Total number of cases has now exceeded 5000 for this outbreak 

  • Ninety-three people are in hospital, nine of whom are in the ICU or HDU.

  • Ninety percent of New Zealanders aged over 12 years have now had their first dose and 80 percent are fully vaccinated. 

  • The top of Northland moved to alert level 2 on Thursday night

  • Keep up-to-date with the latest locations of interest here.

3:05pm - We are going to leave the live updates there for the day, but will restart them if there are any major developments. Thanks for following along. 

3pm - There are two new locations of interest

  • Countdown Otorohanga - Tuesday, November 9 between 11:35am - 12:20pm
  • Unichem Pharmacy Otorohanga - Monday, November 8 between 9:42am and 10:15am

2:55pm - Here's the latest DHB by DHB vaccination rate breakdown including doses up until Friday night:

Coronavirus - Latest on the COVID-19 community outbreak - Saturday, November 13

2:40pm - Auckland DHB has surpassed 95 percent of its eligible population having had their first dose. 

"In total more than 1.7 million Aucklanders have had at least one dose of the vaccine which is fantastic, but we can do even better," Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said.

"Vaccination is the single best tool we have to protect ourselves from the virus and is key to ensuring we can enjoy a great summer & Christmas break."

2:30pm - A Waka Kotahi spokesperson has told Newshub that it's observed about a dozen groups of 10 vehicles "travelling across the Auckland motorway network at a reduced speed in convoy".

"Speeds are generally around 50km/h. Small numbers of vehicles have been observed in Wellington. As at midday traffic there was flowing normally in the city for a Saturday.

"There have been no reports at this point of any major issues in other centres."

2:20pm - Waka Kotahi says traffic is starting to ease across the Auckland motorway network, with congestion limited to just the Southern Motorway.

2pm - Toi Te Ora Public health is encouraging anyone who is in Taupō or who has recently visited the district to get tested if they have COVID-19 symptoms. It comes after a positive case was confirmed there on Saturday. They're also being asked to check the locations of interest page. 

The Medical Officer of Health at Toi Te Ora, Dr Lynne Lane, says it is also a reminder for people to get vaccinated and follow health measures.

"Vaccination is the best way to keep yourself, your loved ones and the community safe from the virus. If you haven’t already had your vaccination, now is the time to get it."

The Lakes DHB advises that testing centres in Taupō will be extending their opening hours over the weekend. The DHB is encouraging anyone with COVID symptoms in the Taupō region to be tested.

Testing hours have increased at the Taupō community testing centre at 79 Miro St, from 9am to 3pm daily. Pihanga Health in Turangi is also testing from 10am to 2pm today and from 11am to 1pm tomorrow, Sunday.

Vaccination centres are also open in Taupō this weekend. Lakes DHB COVID-19 Incident Controller Jenny Martelli said now is the time to be vigilant and get vaccinated.

"I strongly encourage everyone to be vaccinated and encourage those who may not have decided to do so today and be part of a strong community response to fight COVID-19."

The Taupō Vaccination Centre at 6/29 Totara St will be open as follows:
•    Saturday              8.30am – 4.30pm
•    Sunday                 8.00am – 4.00pm

Tuwharetoa Health will be running an outreach vaccination clinic in Waitahanui at the Tutemohuta Community Hall from 10.00am – 2.00pm.

1:45pm - Waka Kotahi NZTA says that traffic is easing on State Highway 1 on the Northern Motorway, but there continues to be congestion on State Highway 20 on the Southwestern Motorway and State Highway 16 on the Northwestern Motorway.

1:35pm -

Lakes update
As has been previously advised this morning, Toi Te Ora Public Health has notified the Ministry of a positive COVID-19 case in Taupō.
The person was tested on Thursday after becoming symptomatic earlier in the week.
Interviews are continuing today to determine any links to known cases.
Toi Te Ora is following up on any potential locations of interest. Potential locations of interest will be notified on the Ministry’s website.
The person’s four household contacts are being tested today.
There is additional testing capacity in and around Taupō today and we urge anyone who may have symptoms, however mild, to visit one of the sites and get a test.

The five cases we’re officially reporting in Taranaki today are part of the Stratford household of six first announced by the Ministry yesterday.
All six cases tested positive on Thursday evening in Stratford, including one who was admitted to Taranaki Base Hospital for COVID-19 related reasons. The person has now been discharged and is at home isolating with the five remaining cases.
All cases are clearly linked and there is also a link to the Auckland outbreak.
Public health staff have tested five other people identified as close contacts. Three have returned negative results, including two people who’d been in the Wairarapa. We’re awaiting two further results.
The latest wastewater result for Stratford has not detected COVID-19
Testing numbers around the region yesterday were up (1,095 tests were completed) and additional capacity remains in place today and tomorrow.
·        Stratford pop-up clinic at the War Memorial car park. Open 10am - 2pm today and tomorrow
·        Taranaki Base Hospital. Open 10am – 3pm today and tomorrow.
·        Hawera Hospital. Open 10am-1pm today and tomorrow
A Ngati Ruanui pop up testing site has also opened in Albion Street, Hawera. It is open from 10am today
As of Friday, 86% of the eligible population in Taranaki had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 72% had received a second dose. For Mâori in Taranaki, 72% have had at least one dose, and 52% have received their second dose.

Northland update
Today we are reporting two new cases which both have clear links to known cases.
There has been one new location of interest identified by public health over the past 24 hours – Pak'nSave Kaitaia. Details are on the Ministry’s website.
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, is urged to get tested. Testing locations in Northland can be found on the Northland DHB website here:
There were strong vaccination numbers around Northland yesterday and we want to thanks Northlanders for continuing to play their part.
There were 1,517 people vaccinated in the region yesterday, with about 60 percent of those in the Far North.
More than half of everyone vaccinated in Northland yesterday identified as Māori.
Vaccination centres open in Northland today can be found on the Northland DHB website
There also continues to be a good turnout for testing with 1,249 swabs taken throughout Northland yesterday.  The testing volumes continue to be high in Dargaville, Kaiwaka and Kaitaia.

Waikato update
Today we are reporting eight new cases in Waikato - seven are known contacts and public health staff are today investigating the remaining case to determine any links to known cases.
Four of the cases are from Hamilton, three from Ōtorohanga, and one location is yet to be confirmed following further investigation.
The case reported yesterday without a location has now been confirmed as Ōtorohanga.
There are seven pop-up and dedicated testing sites operating across Waikato today in Hamilton, Thames, Huntly, Ōtorohanga, and Te Kuiti. For further details, please visit the DHB’s website.
There were 2,686 tests processed in Waikato yesterday.
Public health staff in Waikato are now supporting 234 people to isolate at home, including 89 cases and 145 contacts.

Auckland update
There are 16 community testing centres available for testing across Auckland today.
Public health staff are renewing their calls to anyone in Auckland who is displaying any symptoms, no matter how mild, to get tested.  The testing centres at Northcote, Balmoral and Wiri continue to operate extended hours to increase access to testing.
We wish to reiterate our thanks to frontline testing staff across the region – in the past 7 days there have been 101,423 tests received at labs and testing teams have been out in all weathers to do their bit for the COVID-19 response.
Public health staff are now supporting 3,333 people to isolate at home around Auckland - this includes 1,655 cases

1:30pm - Here are the main figures from the Ministry of Health:

COVID-19 vaccine update  
Total first and second vaccines administered to date (percentage of eligible people) 7,169,870: 3,786,143 first doses (90%); 3,383,727 second doses (80%)
Total first and second vaccines administered yesterday 22,951: 6,343 first doses; 16,608 second doses
Māori (percentage of eligible people) 776,134: 434,307 first doses (76%); 341,827 second doses (60%)
Pacific Peoples (percentage of eligible people) 465,624: 251,233 first doses (88%); 214,391 second doses (75%)
Total first and second vaccines administered to Auckland residents yesterday 7,145: 1,738 first doses; 5,407 second doses
Vaccination rates by DHB (with active cases)  
Northland DHB (percentage of eligible people 246,703: 132,553 first doses (82%); 114,150 second doses (71%)
Auckland metro DHBs (percentage of eligible people 2,545,314: 1,326,892 first doses (92%); 1,218,422 second doses (85%)
Waikato DHB (percentage of eligible people 595,655: 311,778 first doses (89%); 278,877 second doses (78%)
Taranaki DHB (percentage of eligible people) 164,464; 88,575 first doses (87%); 75,889 second doses (74%)
Lakes DHB ((percentage of eligible people) 146,524; 78,616 first doses (83%); 67,909 second doses (72%)
Canterbury DHB (percentage of eligible people 839,945: 449,717 first doses (93%); 390,228 second doses (81%)
Cases in hospital 93 (up from 85 yesterday): North Shore (25); Waitakere (2); Middlemore (30); Auckland (36);
Vaccination status of current hospitalised cases Unvaccinated or not eligible (50 cases / 59%); partially vaccinated<14 days (9 cases / 11%) partially vaccinated >14 days (11 cases / 13 %); fully vaccinated <14 days (2 cases / 2%) fully vaccinated >14 days (8 cases / 9%); unknown (5 cases / 6%)
Average age of current hospitalisations 51
Cases in ICU or HDU 9
Seven day rolling average of community cases 162
Number of new community cases 175
Number of new cases identified at the border Two (including one historical)
Location of new community cases Auckland (159), Northland (2), Waikato (8), Lakes (1), Taranaki* (5),
Location of community cases (total) Auckland 5,075 (1,879 of whom have recovered); Northland 41 (9 of whom have recovered); Waikato 225 (82 of whom have recovered); Lakes 1; Taranaki 6; Wellington 17 (all of whom have recovered);
Nelson/Marlborough 1 (who has recovered); Canterbury 4 (3 of whom have recovered),
Number of community cases (total) 5,371 (in current community outbreak)
Confirmed cases (total) 8,121
Historical cases 192 out of 6,308 cases since 1 January
Cases infectious in the community 65 of the cases reported yesterday have exposure events
Cases in isolation throughout the period they were infectious 123 cases reported yesterday have no exposure events
Cases epidemiologically linked 78 of today’s cases
Cases to be epidemiologically linked 97 of today’s cases
Cases epidemiologically linked (total) 4,213 (in the current cluster) (768 unlinked from the past 14 days)
Number of active contacts being managed (total): 4,996
Percentage who have received an outbound call from contact tracers (to confirm testing and isolation requirements) 76%
Percentage who have returned at least one result 69%
Locations of interest  
Locations of interest (total) 120 (as at 10am 13 November)
Number of tests (total) 4,430,557
Number of tests total (last 24 hours) 29,688
Tests processed in Auckland (last 24 hours) 13,571
Tests rolling average (last 7 days) 25,624
Testing centres in Auckland 16
Wastewater detections   No unexpected detections
NZ COVID Tracer  
Registered users (total) 3,361,652
Poster scans (total) 499,782,604
Manual diary entries (total) 20,027,611
Poster scans in 24 hours to midday yesterday 2,790,738

1:21pm - There are 175 new cases in New Zealand today the Ministry of Health says. 

There are 93 people in hospital, up from 85 yesterday. 

1:12pm Wellington City Council says it is not the protest causing traffic delays, it is just regular Saturday traffic. 

"It's not bringing the city to a standstill by any means, traffic on a Saturday is pretty bad anyway.

"We are watching, we've got the camera on. 

"People should think about being creative if they want to get around town, take some back routes."

1:11pm - The gridlock protest is having an effect in Wellington with traffic at a standstill on Jervois Quay.

1:08pm - The latest COVID-19 figures are due in at any moment, we will have them as soon as they land.

12:47pm - NZTA has advised drivers to avoid Auckland motorways as traffic builds due to the protest. 

12:27pm - Traffic seems to be moving around Auckland, it is not gridlocked, more like regular morning commuter traffic.

If the protesters wanted to bring the city to a standstill they have failed.

12:13pm - NZTA says traffic is still bad in parts of Auckland due to the protest, mainly on the southern motorway. 

12:07pm - The protest doesn't seem to have had much traction in Wellington - another city already well acquainted with gridlock - with one person bemoaning the lack of support. 

"I think there is just no interest in Wellington in their cause, people have got better things to do on Saturday than drive around in circles," He told Newshub. 

"They haven't made life difficult for anybody."

"I was hoping for some drama, I was curious to see what the local support was like and it was almost invisible." 

12:00 - The Great Gridlock protest - as it has been called by organisers - is currently underway in Auckland with protesters driving their cars along the below route.

The aim is to cause as much traffic disruption as they can, however the tactic may well backfire. 

Aucklanders are well used to traffic disruption but even so this is unlikely to get much sympathy for the protesters from a city already frazzled by the long lockdown it has endured. 

Coronavirus - Latest on the COVID-19 community outbreak - Saturday, November 13

11:47am - Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) has been granted a two-week extension to get its workforce vaccinated, the union saying that's because of failed planning. 

The Ministry of Health granted FENZ an extension to the mandatory vaccination health order deadline for a first dose late on Friday night, changing it from November 15 to November 29. 

New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union (NZPFU) national secretary Wattie Watson told Newshub it will be a tight race to get the unvaccinated, vaccinated. 

"FENZ failed to prepare, which is a problem we have for a range of issues across FENZ. I think the two weeks are going to be very tight, but I understand that is the extension that has been sought."

11:41am  - Bad news for Aucklanders expecting to escape the city before the end of this month - the Health MInister says the so-called 'Freedom Day' that's been reported widely is nothing of the sort. 

Reports had been circulating in the media that November 29 was Auckland's Freedom Day 

Speaking to Newshub Nation Andrew Little said it was absolutely not going to happen on November 29, he said. 

"Not at all… You might have misunderstood what the Prime Minister has been saying," he told host Simon Shepherd. 

"The Prime Minister said on the 29th of November, Cabinet will do a significant check-in on the state of the system… as we start to make decisions about the introduction of of the COVID Protection Framework - the traffic light system. 

"It won't be introduced from the 29th of November - that is the point at which a decision should be expected to be made, but it won't be introduced straight away."

11:37am - It is hard to tell if the gridlock protest is affecting Manukau, or if it is just normal Auckland traffic. 

Coronavirus - Latest on the COVID-19 community outbreak - Saturday, November 13
Photo credit: Newshub

11:32am - Protests are being held in the major centres in New Zealand with people threatening to gridlock traffic. The protests are a follow from the demonstration outside Parliament earlier in the week.  

11:00am - Te Ora Public Health has notified the Ministry of Health of a positive COVID-19 case in Taupō.

The person was tested on Thursday after becoming symptomatic earlier in the week.

Interviews are continuing to determine any links to known cases.

Toi Te Ora is following up on any potential locations of interest. Potential locations of interest will be notified on the Ministry’s website.

The person’s other household contacts are being tested this morning.

There is additional testing capacity in and around Taupō today and people who may have symptoms, however mild, should visit one of the sites and get a test.