COVID-19 cases reach 708

By Jessica Tyson

The number of COVID-19 cases in New Zealand has risen by 61 cases overnight, reaching a total of 708.

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay announced today that the new cases include 47 new confirmed 14 new probable cases.

There have been no additional deaths overnight and 82 reported cases have recovered.

There are 14 people in hospital with COVID-19. Two of them are in intensive care and in a stable condition.

Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management Sarah Stuart-Black says iwi and Māori are connected across all levels of the COVID-19 response in line with the government and Civil Defence emergency management coordination centres.

“Iwi and Māori organisations are mobilising across the country to support their communities and help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The majority of cases are strongly linked to overseas travel.

Dr McElnay says just over half of the cases are linked to overseas travel, 30 percent of cases have had close contact with confirmed cases and one percent are cases from community transmission.

Dr McElnay announced a new case definition which is, “anyone with respiratory systems which are consistent with COVID-19 disease.”

She says these cases should be considered for testing regardless of travel history and contact with a confirmed case.

“We do know that this will result in more testing being done which is good and which we are prepared for.”

The Ministry of Health is planning to increase the capacity of tests processed per day by establishing two more laboratories by the end of next week. So far there are eight laboratories around the country.

The average number of tests being processed per day is 1843.  

For more information on how to stay safe from COVID-19 please go to www.covid19.govt.nz. If you have specific medical concerns, please call 0800 358 5453.