The first cases of Covid-19 in the South Island in almost a year, children test positive in Northland and the data shows how many of each DHB have not yet vaccinated.
First case from the South Island in almost a year
A person tested positive for Covid-19 in Blenheim, the first case on the South Island since the start of the current outbreak.
The Health Ministry said the traveler was tested after flying to Blenheim from Rotorua on Thursday, and his case is believed to be connected to the Te Awamutu group. The tests returned a weak result and experts believe that the person was in the last stage of the infection when he traveled, which could reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.
Locations of interest are being added to the Ministry contact tracing page as available, and anyone in the area with mild symptoms is asked to get tested.
Two children, two adults test positive in Northland
Four family members tested positive for Covid-19 in Northland. Positive tests for the children were announced today, and the results for the two adults were announced yesterday afternoon after the official count closed for the day.
All four are included in today’s cases.
The Northland DHB said both children are under the age of 12.
The adults were able to travel to the region from Auckland under level 3 rules, and their test results have been linked to a case from Auckland. They are not connected to two travelers who were wanted by police after they visited Auckland earlier this month and later tested positive for Covid-19.
Third day for more than 100 cases
Another 104 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the community in the last 24 hours; 91 in Auckland, eight in Waikato, four in Northland and one in Blenheim.
Of the current cases, 61 have yet to be linked to previous cases.
129 new community cases were reported on Friday and 102 on Thursday.
In a statement, the Health Ministry said 55 people are hospitalized with the coronavirus, including five in intensive care.
Canterbury DHB and Manukau Counties are furthest from 90% vaccinated
RNZ has released revealing charts that chart how much work each DHB will have to do to meet the government’s 90 percent vaccination target.
Yesterday, it was announced that each DHB would have to reach the 90 percent mark for the eligible population before the entire country was guaranteed to switch from current alert level restrictions to a new traffic light system, allowing more freedoms to people and companies with vaccination certificates. Although the South Island could be considered for an early jump to the system.
Northland and Tairawhiti DHBs, which cover two of the most disadvantaged parts of the country, had the fewest number of people vaccinated (60 and 61 percent respectively), while two of the best-resourced areas ranked at the top of the table. : Auckland City and Capital & Coast (at 80 and 75 percent).
However, the areas that will have to vaccinate the largest number of people to reach that goal are Canterbury (118.00), Manukau Counties (87,000), Waikato and Waitemata (both close to 80,000).
The ‘traffic light’ system will put some populations at risk
A prominent public health expert says Māori and Pasifika have been put in the line of fire by the government’s announcement of the ‘traffic light’ system for restrictions on living with Covid-19.
University of Auckland professor of public health Dr Rhys Jones said current data shows that when the population as a whole reaches the vaccination target of 90 percent, Maori will still lag 20 percent behind.
He says that some communities have not had the same opportunities to get vaccinated and more work is needed in those spaces.
Jones said the net result was that Te Tiriti or Waitangi did not stay at the core of the new system.
Businesses react to the new traffic light target
There have been mixed reactions in the business community to yesterday’s announcement of the ‘traffic light’ system; With relief, a goal had been set, but many are unhappy at how distant it could be.
Auckland Business Association Manager Cheryl Adamson today summed up much of the sentiment as “devastation” that the wait could be weeks and was not a set day.
However, he said increased resurgence payments would help businesses and the community widely supported vaccination passports.
And it has been confirmed that Auckland businesses could take a respite from the effects of the closures. The city council voted to extend its rate relief for affected businesses to cover the 2021/2022 financial year.