Covid-19 update: No new community cases in New Zealand, ahead of alert level changes

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There have been no new community cases of Covid-19 reported in New Zealand today, with the country’s alert levels set to shift tomorrow morning.

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In a statement, the Ministry of Health said there were nine cases in managed isolation.

All of the new imported cases arrived in New Zealand on Thursday, with one coming from the USA via Qatar and the other eight coming from India via the UAE.

The ministry said today’s managed isolation case numbers underscored the value of day 0/1.

“All people arriving into New Zealand must remain in their rooms until those day 0/1 tests results come back, and in these cases, all 9 people are transferred to a quarantine facility following those positive results.

“It’s also not uncommon to see some of the day 0/1 cases be reclassified as historical cases, which are not infectious. This is why we are continuing to publish the cumulative number of historical cases, as below.”

The total number of active cases in New Zealand is now 71, while the total number of confirmed cases is now 2042.

More than 71,000 tests were processed last week.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield has reiterated that a new section 70 health order applies to those who may have been at an Auckland gym at the same time as one of the most recent Covid-19 cases.

A 21-year-old MIT student went to the City Fitness Gym in Hunter’s Plaza and other places after a test and while infectious.

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Dr Bloomfield said that under section 70, others who went to the gym at certain times must isolate at home, report for Covid-19 testing, and remain isolated until further notice.

The dates and times are between 11.15am and 1.45pm on 20 February, or between 3.25pm and 4.30pm on 26 February.

The order also applies to people who have already been told they are close contacts or casual contacts of the recent community cases.

There were no new cases of Covid-19 reported yesterday.

Auckland is currently at alert level 3 and will drop down to alert level 2 from 6am tomorrow. The rest of the country will move to alert level 1.

Announcing the decision yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Cabinet will review the situation at the end of next week, with a view to moving Auckland to level 1 at the start of next weekend.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says community cooperation has helped to stop the spread of the virus and until tomorrow, people should stay at home and follow the rules.

He says he will continue to lobby the government to prioritise Auckland over other areas less impacted by the virus, when the vaccine is rolled out to the public.

The ministry said today it was “encouraging” to see another day without any community cases. But it warned that New Zealanders must all remain vigilant.

“This includes staying home if you have any symptoms and phoning Healthline for advice on getting a test, wherever you are in the country, and by keeping a record of where you have been at all times.

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“The Covid Tracer app is an easy way to do this. Please continue to scan QR codes wherever you go and turn on Bluetooth tracing in the app dashboard if you haven’t already done so. Continue to wash your hands, and cough or sneeze into your elbow.”

This is an official government Covid-19 announcement:

On 28 February, the Auckland region moved to Covid-19 Alert Level 3. The rest of New Zealand moved to Alert Level 2. This is for a period of seven days. Further community cases of Covid-19 have been identified in the Auckland Region. If you are in Auckland, stay home where possible, and follow Alert Level 3 guidelines. This will stop the transmission of Covid-19 and save lives. For more information on the alert levels go to covid19.govt.nz.

RNZ is the statutory Lifeline Utility responsible for radio broadcasting under the Emergency Management Act 2002 and it has a memorandum of understanding with Government which has been activated to help deal with potential health issues related to the pandemic. RNZ’s Lifeline Utility obligations do not affect our editorial independence as a public media organisation or the rigour of our news gathering and reporting operations.

As New Zealand’s Lifeline Utility radio broadcaster, RNZ is required to maintain essential public information channels and news during times of national emergency and we are committed to supporting all New Zealanders. We are also committed to looking after the health and well-being of our staff.

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RNZ will continue to provide essential information services – broadcasting and publishing critical public service announcements on air, on our website and via social media channels. Comprehensive news will be available on air and via our website and digital services.

If necessary RNZ Concert and RNZ Pacific will carry news and information from RNZ National. Parliament will continue to be broadcast on the AM network when the House is sitting. As the country’s public service media organisation, RNZ is committed to supporting all New Zealanders.

Kia Kaha – Stay Strong

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