No new community cases; 1 new case of COVID-19 in managed isolation

Media release

20 May 2021

There are no new cases of COVID-19 to report in the community in New Zealand today.

There is one new case to report in recent returnees in managed isolation facilities since the Ministry’s last update yesterday.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases detected at the border is two.

Two previously reported cases have now recovered. The total number of active cases in New Zealand today is 24.

Our total number of confirmed cases is 2,303.

Since 1 January 2021, there have been 61 historical cases, out of a total of 486 cases.

A previously reported case has now been reclassified as "historical” and has been added to the historical case tally.

New border cases

Arrival date  



Positive test day/reason  

Managed isolation/
quarantine location  

17 May



Day 1 / routine


 Wastewater test results update

Wastewater testing continues to be a part of New Zealand’s testing and surveillance strategy in the fight against COVID-19. Recently, weak positive results have been detected in Wellington, Christchurch, Rotorua and Queenstown. The Ministry’s assessment of these results is that there is a low risk to the New Zealand community.

As per usual process, subsequent testing has been undertaken from which Queenstown and Wellington have returned negative results. Further testing in Christchurch and Rotorua is underway.

The Ministry’s current assessment remains that the weak positive results are likely from recent positive cases in managed isolation or due to recently recovered cases who are not infectious but continue to shed the virus after returning home or while travelling. There is no risk of infection from COVID-19 in wastewater.

"Wastewater testing serves as an early warning system in the fight against COVID-19, as it does in many other countries. When wastewater testing returns weak positives, it's essential that anyone in these areas with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 stay at home and promptly call Healthline (0800 358 5453) about getting a test. Any cases of COVID-19 need to be detected quickly in order to stop the virus spreading in our communities.  This is especially important as we head into winter, as people may have the usual winter coughs and colds," says Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Everyone in New Zealand should also continue to use the NZ COVID Tracer app with Bluetooth turned on to keep a record of their movements so they can be recalled quickly if needed by contact tracers.

Also please keep up the hygiene measures that are critical to stopping the spread of the virus – wear a face covering on public transport, wash your hands, and cough or sneeze into your elbow.  

Testing information

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 2,095,421.

Laboratories processed 4,794 tests yesterday. The seven-day rolling average is 3,657

For all testing locations nationwide visit the Healthpoint website.


NZ COVID Tracer now has 2,826,944 registered users.

Poster scans have reached 271,329,239 and users have created 10,175,911 manual diary entries.

There have been 588,670 scans in the last 24 hours to midday yesterday.

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