Today we have two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 to report and one new probable case.
Two of today’s cases can be traced to a known source. One confirmed case is linked to the Marist cluster in Auckland and the other confirmed case is linked to the Gladys Mary Rest Home in Hawke’s Bay.
The probable case (from South Canterbury) is currently under investigation.
This means the current national total is 1,472. There are no additional deaths to report.
New Zealand’s total number of confirmed cases is 1,124. This is the number we report daily to the World Health Organization and in many instances this is the number reported publicly by other countries.
There were 2,146 tests completed yesterday, with a combined total to date of 126,066. Again, this lower number of tests reflects regular weekend and public holiday patterns.
Of our cases, 1,214 are reported as recovered – an increase of 34 on yesterday. 82% of all confirmed and probable cases have now recovered.
There are 9 people in hospital, an increase of 2 from yesterday. This total includes one person in the ICU in Middlemore.
There are still 16 significant clusters, no change from yesterday.
Cases under investigation
We now have two cases since 1 April where we are still investigating the source of infection.
One is today’s new probable case from South Canterbury and the other is a confirmed case in Tauranga where a possible link is still being investigated.
Elimination – a sustained effort
The Ministry wants to restate comments made yesterday about elimination as they may have caused some confusion about what it means for Level 3.
First of all, a reminder that we will still see cases of COVID-19 under an elimination goal. It is not completely eradicated.
To date, we have been considering elimination in the context of Level 4.
As the Director-General said yesterday, this has meant we know where our cases come from, we have the ability for ongoing and extensive testing and we can contact trace for a significant number of cases.
However, we do still have cases of COVID-19 occurring and we have seen from overseas experience how quickly case numbers can rise again if we take our foot off the pedal.
While we have made good progress to arrive at Level 3, we are by no means in the clear.
Elimination is not a point in time. It is a sustained effort to keep it out and stamp it out over many months.
It’s crucial that all New Zealanders remain vigilant and follow the guidelines for Level 3, including physical distancing, keeping to our bubbles, practicing good hand hygiene and if you are unwell, stay away from others and seek medical advice.
As we outlined yesterday, the Director-General has issued a new Order under the Health Act.
This came into effect from 11:59 last night, when New Zealand moved to Alert Level 3. The information in the Order is comprehensive.
It outlines: the functions around isolation or quarantine requirements, the permissions for essential personal movement or recreation, infection control measure requirements for premises, the ability to close non-compliant premises and prohibitions on gatherings.