Once again, there are no new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand. This is the 12th consecutive day of no new cases.
Our total number of confirmed cases remains at 1,154, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.
Our combined total of confirmed and probable cases remains at 1,504.
The number of recovered cases is unchanged at 1,481. Only one case remains active.
There are no additional deaths to report.
There is no one in New Zealand receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19.
Yesterday our laboratories completed 1,262 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 283,525.
NZ COVID Tracer app
The NZ COVID Tracer app has now recorded 487,000 registrations – that’s an increase of 5,000 since this time yesterday.
We continue to encourage as many people as possible to download the app – it will support our contact tracing efforts including when we move to Level 1.
We also recognise the work being done by businesses to get their unique QR codes up and running – we’ve simplified the process for businesses to get a QR code with a shorter process that can be accessed at NZ COVID Tracer QR codes.
This has a link to QR codes page with details on options. It includes a link to Business Connect and the information you need to supply for the alternative process. The alternative process email is email@example.com
The latest figures are for 29,010 posters having been created which represent more than 17,000 businesses and organisations.
To date, NZ COVID Tracer users have scanned the official NZ COVID Tracer QR codes a total of 496,110 times. The number of scans each day is continuing to increase as more and more Kiwi businesses and organisations print and display their official QR code posters.
As the Government is looking at moving from Level 2 to Level 1 we are also looking at the focus for our testing strategy to support this shift.
Since January we’ve done 282,000 tests primarily on individuals with symptoms or on close contacts of cases.
To support the move from Level 3 to Level 2, testing was expanded to include people without symptoms in the community to help ensure we did not have hidden cases of COVID-19. Over 30,000 such tests were undertaken between late April and late May.
From that testing we only found one case, an airport worker in the Auckland region, whose infection probably related to overseas travel some weeks prior.
We are in the tail end of this testing now. Five DHBs continued their asymptomatic testing last week – three in the Greater Wellington region, Lakes, Bay of Plenty and MidCentral DHB. MidCentral’s testing continues this week.
In combination, these six DHBs will be conducting an estimated 500 tests on asymptomatic people.
The results of this testing continue to be included in our public reporting.
Over coming weeks as we move into winter, the focus remains very much on testing people with respiratory symptoms and it’s very important that anyone with symptoms seeks advice early on getting a test, which is free.
There will also be ongoing targeted surveillance testing with a focus on the border.
Testing is a fundamental pillar of our overall elimination strategy along with strong border measures and rapid contact tracing to quickly isolate any close contacts of cases. Remember, there are still 100,000 cases being reported each day globally.
Recovered COVID-19 cases
We have had reports from DHBs that some people who have had COVID-19 are facing some difficulties in getting medical and other appointments as they are perceived as being a risk to others.
When a person has recovered from COVID-19, they are not infectious.
There is no stigma around having had COVID-19 – it is a virus that does not discriminate.
We therefore ask that appointments for people who have recovered from COVID-19 are not cancelled or deferred – please treat people gently, and with kindness.
Any person who has recovered from COVID-19 and is having trouble getting an appointment, please call Healthline on 0800 358 5453.
For the first time, a million doses of flu vaccine are recorded as having been administered on the National Immunisation Register. For 2019, the total was 838,798 over the entire season. It is likely that more than one million people have been vaccinated against influenza, as some, like those given in workplace vaccination programmes, aren’t recorded on the NIR.
To date, more than 1.744 million vaccines have been distributed to general practices, pharmacies, occupational health providers, DHBs and other vaccinators this year. This means almost all the influenza vaccines originally procured for New Zealand are now out with providers, and distribution of an alternative northern hemisphere vaccine for people who aren't eligible for funded vaccination has begun, with just over 11,000 doses distributed so far.
The Ministry's priority is that as many people at risk of severe illness from influenza should be vaccinated as possible – those aged 65 and over, pregnant women and people with serious or chronic health conditions are eligible for free vaccination.
Queen’s Birthday Honours
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield today formally acknowledged the 19 people from the health sector who have just received Queen's Birthday's honours.
In particular Dr Bloomfield wanted to recognise Dr Karen Poutasi who has been awarded Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education and the State.
Dame Karen was Director-General of Health from 1995–2006, and continues in health as the current Commissioner for Waikato DHB.
‘In my role I fully appreciate those who have gone before, and I am still in regular contact with Dame Karen in her current role,’ Dr Bloomfield said.
Other top honours in health were Distinguished Professor Jane Elizabeth Harding who was awarded Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to neonatology and perinatology, and Professor Robert Elliott who was awarded Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to medical research.
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