The key facts you need to know about Covid-19 in Aotearoa.

Wednesday 23 September

 

Today there are three new community cases. They are not connected to the main Auckland August cluster.

They are linked to a previously reported Christchurch to Auckland flight. They are part of one family group and have been self-isolating for the last three days. 

There are three people in hospital, none of them in intensive care.

Three people have recovered. This brings our total number of active cases to 62 with 34 of those from the community and 28 imported.

There are also six historical cases that are being reported for the first time. They are a family in Waikato who became ill in February this year after a family member visited them from Italy and developed symptoms.

At the time New Zealand did not consider travellers from Italy a risk and was only testing those who had travelled through China. Therefore they were not tested at the time.

The cases were only just found when one of the family members recently developed a sore throat and got a test. His results showed the historical infection. As five of his family members had also been ill with Covid-like symptoms earlier in the year they are now considered probable cases.

This means they are now considered New Zealand’s first cases of Covid-19.

The Ministry of Health says these cases present no risk to the public.

Tuesday 22 September

There are no new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today. 

Three people are in hospital, none of them in intensive care.

There are 61 active cases, 32 of those are community cases and 29 of those are imported from recent overseas travel.

 

Monday 21 September, 1:00pm

Auckland will move to alert level 2 from 11.59pm on Wednesday September 23. Gatherings of up to 100 people will be permitted. 

Level 2 will stay in place for at least 14 days, and will be reviewed on Monday October 5th.

The rest of New Zealand will move to alert level 1 from 11.59pm tonight.

Today there are no new cases of Covid-19.

There are three people in hospital, none of them in intensive care.

“Our actions collectively have managed to get the virus under control,” says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

She says with no new cases in the country today, and seven days of no new cases linked to the Auckland cluster, we are in a strong position to make the move down alert settings.

Auckland has spent three weeks at level 2.5, and in that time there were 38 cases linked to the Auckland cluster, and two deaths “devastatingly in the same family”.

She says we are taking a cautious approach because the Ministry of Health predicts at the end of this month there is still only a 50/50 chance of having eliminated Covid in New Zealand.

The last time we moved down to alert level 1, there were only two cases in the whole month prior.

For the rest of the country, the move to alert level 1 means face coverings are no longer mandatory on planes and public transport, however their use is still encouraged. If you are travelling from, to, or through Auckland they must still be worn.

 

Saturday 19 September

There are two new cases of Covid-19 today - one community case is currently under investigation and the other is a recent arrival in managed isolation. 

Four people are in hospital, none of them in intensive care.

Five people have recovered, so there are now 67 active cases. 

33 of those are community cases and 34 of those are imported from recent overseas travel.

 

Thursday 17 September

Today there are no new community cases of Covid-19.

There are seven new imported cases.

Four people are in hospital, none of them in intensive care.

Nine people have recovered, so there are now 77 active cases. 

44 of those are community cases and 33 of those are imported from recent overseas travel.

 

Wednesday 16 September 

Another person has died of Covid-19, a man in his 50s who was linked to the Auckland community cluster.

He was admitted to Waikato Hospital nearly a month ago and passed away yesterday afternoon.

His family have asked the Ministry of Health to pass on the message to New Zealanders that “coronavirus is so real,” and “if you are sick and have symptoms, stay home”.

This means 25 people have now died from Covid in New Zealand.

Today there are no new community cases, and one new imported case from recent overseas travel.

Four people have recovered, which means we now have 79 active cases. 52 of those are community cases and 27 are imported.

There are three people in hospital, with two of those in intensive care.

 

Tuesday 15 September

Today there are no new community cases, and three imported cases from recent overseas travel.

There are four people in hospital, two of them in intensive care. 

16 people have recovered, so we now have 83 active cases. 

55 of the active cases are from the community and 28 are imported.

 

Monday 14 September

There will be a short extension to the current Covid alert levels.

Auckland will remain at level 2.5 and gatherings will be restricted until at least next Wednesday 23rd September, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.

The rest of the country will look to move to level 1 in one week, at 11.59pm on Monday 21st September.

The changes in alert level will be confirmed next Monday 21 September, on the condition that cases continue to track as they are.

Auckland has been at level 2.5 for two weeks, and in that time a further 36 community cases associated with the main cluster have appeared.

The Prime Minister says the moves are a “safety barrier for flare ups in the rest of the country”.

A change to physical distancing requirements on planes and public transport has also been announced. At level 2, seating restrictions and passenger number limits on planes and public transport will no longer be necessary. The change is effective immediately from today. Mask use remains compulsory.

Today there is one new case of Covid-19. It is a community case linked to the existing Auckland cluster.

There are three people in hospital, two of those in intensive care. 

Two people have recovered, bringing our total number of active cases to 96. Of those, 39 are imported from overseas travel and 57 are community cases.

 

Wednesday 9 September, 1pm

There are six new cases today, all from the community.

They are all linked to the main Auckland cluster.

One of the cases is a driver on the Northern Express bus service. They were driving on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th September between 5.20am-1pm and 4pm-6.15pm. 

The driver was not symptomatic, wore a mask and gloves and was at least separated by plastic sheeting from passengers by at least 1.5m.

The Ministry of Health is working with the Ministry of Transport to use data from Hop cards to identify people who may have been on those bus rides. 

Passengers do not need to self isolate but should be aware of symptoms and seek testing if they develop symptoms.

Four people are in hospital, with two of those in intensive care.

Four people have recovered, meaning we now have 125 active cases. 43 of those are imported, and 82 are from the community.

The investigation into the maintenance worker at the Rydges Hotel has now concluded. This was a community case that was not connected to the main cluster. The Ministry of Health has concluded this was a one-off transmission event from an elevator. Widespread testing of the worker’s close contacts did not find any other cases of Covid-19.

 

Tuesday 8 September, 1pm

There are six new cases today, two imported and four in the community.

The four community cases are all linked to the main Auckland cluster.

There are four people in hospital, two of those in intensive care.

One person has recovered, meaning our total number of active cases is 123. 43 of those are imported and 80 are community cases.

 

Monday 7 September, 1pm

Today there are four new cases - two imported from overseas travel and two from the community.

Both the new community cases are close contacts of the existing Auckland cluster, and were already in isolation.

There are four people in hospital, with one of them in intensive care.

Two community cases have recovered, so our total number of active cases is 118, with 41 of those imported from overseas travel and 77 from the community.

 

Sunday 6 September, 1pm

Today there are five new cases, one of those is imported from overseas travel and four are from the community.

All four of the new community cases are linked to the existing Auckland cluster.

There are four people in hospital, with one of those in intensive care.

One person has recovered. This means our total number of active cases is now 116. 39 of those are imported and 77 are from the community.

Saturday 5 September, 1pm

Another person has died from Covid-19. This morning the Ministry of Health announced the former Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Dr Joseph Williams QSO had passed away in Auckland Hospital.

He was in his 80s. “Dr Williams was seen as a leading figure in the Cook Islands medical community and he will be sadly missed,” says Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

"Today’s sad news again reinforces the importance of our shared vigilance against Covid-19, the very serious consequences the virus can carry with it, and the measures we all need to take to stop the spread, break any chain of transmission and prevent deaths." 

It is the second death in two days - yesterday the Ministry of Health reported a man in his 50s linked to the Auckland cluster had died.

This means the total number of deaths in New Zealand from Covid-19 is now 24.

There are three new cases today, one imported from overseas travel and two from the community.

The two community cases are linked to the main Auckland cluster.

There are two people in hospital, one of those in intensive care.

One person has recovered, so the total number of active cases is now 112, with 38 of those imported and 74 from the community.

Friday 4 September, 1pm

Today there are five new cases, two imported and three community cases.

All of the three community cases are linked to the main Auckland cluster.

There are six people in hospital, two of those in intensive care.

Eight cases have recovered, so we now have 112 active cases - 37 of those are imported and 75 are community cases.

Auckland will stay at level 2.5 for another week, till at least 14 September.

This means social gatherings need to stay at less than 10 people, except for approved funerals and tangihanga.

 

Thursday 3 September, 1pm

There are two new cases today, one from recent travel and one from the community.

The community cases is linked to the main Auckland cluster.

There are seven people in hospital, two of those in intensive care.

16 people have recovered, all who were part of the community outbreak.

This means there are now 115 active cases, with 36 of those imported from travel and 79 from the community.

 

Wednesday 2 September, 1pm

Today there are five new cases, two from recent travel and three from the community.

The three community cases are linked to the main Auckland cluster.

They had already been identified as close contacts of the cluster and were already in self-isolation.

There are seven people in hospital, two of those in intensive care.

We now have 129 active cases, 35 of those imported from overseas travel, and 94 from the community.

Tuesday September 1, 1pm

Today there are 14 new cases of Covid-19, nine imported from recent overseas travel and five in the community.

The five community cases are all linked to the main Auckland cluster.

There are ten people in hospital, two of those in ICU.

13 cases have recovered, all from the community. 

This means there are now 132 active cases, 33 of those imported and 99 from the community.

Over two million people have now registered for the NZ Covid Tracer app

The NZ Covid Tracer app has now over two million people registered.

Monday August 31, 1pm

Today there are nine new cases, five of those in the community and four recently imported from overseas travel.

The five community cases are clearly linked to the main cluster.

There are 11 people in hospital.

15 people have recovered, so our total number of active cases is 131. 24 are imported cases and 107 are community cases.

Today Auckland moved to level 2, and it became mandatory nationwide to wear a mask on public transport.

Auckland Transport have reported nine out of ten people are using face coverings on public transport, says Health Minister Chris Hipkins.

 

Sunday August 30, 1pm

There are two new cases today. Both are cases in the community, both linked to the Auckland cluster.

There are 10 people in hospital, two of those in intensive care.

The total number of active cases is 137. Of these 117 are community cases and 20 are imported cases.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she expects to keep seeing cases from the Auckland cluster. “The tail will be long.”

With the exception of the case of the maintenance worker at Rydges Hotel, all community cases are connected to the known cluster. “We are still dealing with a single source and a single cluster,” said the Prime Minister.

From tonight at 11:59pm, Auckland moves to what Jacinda Ardern is calling Alert Level 2.5. This means:

  • Social gatherings in Auckland are limited to 10 people, with the exception of tangihanga and funerals where 50 people will be allowed.
  • Aged care facilities are on strict settings
  • Keep 2 metres physical distance in public and in retail stores, like supermarkets and clothes shops
  • Keep 1 metre physical distance in most other places like workplaces, cafes, restaurants, and gyms
  • All businesses can operate, alternative ways of working are encouraged if possible
  • All early childcare centres, schools and tertiary education facilities are open
  • Masks are mandatory on public transport for people aged 12 years and older for the whole country

Ardern said testing shows that it is "highly unlikely" there is Covid-19 outside of Auckland. The rest of the country remains at Alert Level 2.

“If you have cold symptoms, get a test. If you have flu symptoms, get a test,” said Ardern. "Stay home if you are sick. If you are in Auckland, I strongly encourage you to wear a mask. If you are on public transport you must wear a mask."

Ardern said a message that all West and South Aucklanders needed to be tested was incorrect. "We are not asking every single person in west and south Auckland to get a test," she said. 

Ardern said our testing regime and contact tracing system are good but will only work if we all play our part. "Our collective health and livelihood is in each other's hands so we owe it to everyone to abide by the rules to stop any further spread and do what we've done before, get case numbers down and enjoy the freedoms at level 1 once more."

Saturday August 29, 1pm

There are 13 new cases today.

11 of those are new community cases. 10 have been linked to the Auckland cluster and one is under investigation. 

Two cases are from recent overseas travel. 

There are 11 people in hospital, three of those in intensive care.

Seven people have recovered. The total number of active cases is now 137. Of those, 120 are community cases and 17 are imported cases. 

There were 9,991 tests carried out yesterday.

Friday August 28, 1pm

Today there are 12 new cases.

Five of those are new community cases of Covid-19, and seven are imported from recent overseas travel.

All the community cases are linked to the main Auckland cluster.

There are 11 people in hospital, three of those in intensive care.

Seven people have recovered, meaning there are now 130 active cases.

 

Thursday August 27, 1pm

Today there are seven new cases of Covid-19. One of these is an imported case from recent travel.

Six of these are in the community, all linked to the Auckland cluster.

There are ten people in hospital, two of those are in intensive care.

15 people have recovered from Covid-19, so the total number of active cases is 126, 11 of which are imported cases.

From next Monday face coverings will need to be worn on public transport, including planes, buses, trains and ferries.

People not wearing a mask without a reasonable excuse can face an infringement of up to $300, or a court fine of up to $1000.

But the Minister of Health Chris Hipkins says the first approach will be through education rather than fines.

Minister Hipkins has clarified some exceptions.

Masks are not needed:

  • On school buses 
  • Charter or group tours 
  • Interisland ferries 
  • or private flights 

because these will either have ways of tracing passengers, or have enough space to physically distance.

Masks also do not need to be worn by passengers in taxis or ubers but drivers will be required to wear them.

Other exemptions include:

  • Children under 12 years
  • People with a disability or physical or mental condition that makes covering their face unsuitable

“We do ask that people respect drivers and transport operators,” says Minister Hipkins.

He says public transport drivers are not obliged to refuse entry, because some people will have legitimate reasons to not wear a mask, but drivers will be encouraged to ask passengers to do so.

 

Wednesday August 26, 1pm

Today there are five new cases.

Two are imported cases from recent overseas travel, and three are community cases. Two of those community cases are contacts of known cases, one is under investigation.

A case yesterday reported as household contact is now under investigation.

There are now 134 active cases, 21 are imported and the rest are in the community.

There are nine people in hospital. Three are in intensive care in a critical condition.

Five people associated with the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship Church have been diagnosed with Covid-19 in the last few days. 

The Ministry of Health is asking anyone who attended services held at the church on August 8th, 9th or 11th or a wedding there on August 7th, should get tested and stay at home in self-isolation until they get a negative test result.

From 11.59pm this Sunday 30th August it will be mandatory to wear a face covering on public transport. It will also be mandatory for QR codes to be shown on public transport from Thursday next week, so that users can log their travel on the NZ Covid Tracer app.

This includes buses, trains, ferries, planes, ubers and taxis. 

It will be an enforceable requirement to wear a mask or face covering, meaning that passengers who are not wearing one will not be allowed onboard.

It will not be an enforceable requirement to use the QR codes, but it is recommended.

 

Tuesday August 25, 1pm

Today there are seven new cases of Covid, all related to the one community cluster in  Auckland.

There are no new imported cases.

This means there are now 129 active cases, 19 of those are imported cases and the rest are from the community.

There are eight people in hospital, three are in a critical condition in ICU.

 

Monday August 24, 3pm

Auckland will stay in alert level 3 until 11.59pm this Sunday August 30.

It will then move to level 2, but the limit on mass gatherings will stay in place. 

This means from Monday August 31st Auckland will be at level 2 but gatherings will be limited to 10 people, with the exception of tangihanga and funerals where 50 people will be allowed.

The rest of New Zealand will stay at alert level 2.

From Monday, the government will require people to wear masks or face coverings on public transport and planes. Previously mask use was only recommended, but now that it is mandated this means people will be required to wear a mask or face covering on public transport, and can face consequences if they don’t.

This applies nationwide for anywhere that is in alert level 2, level 3 or level 4.

“This isn’t a decision we take lightly, but we know masks protect you, and we now have a  real life example of that,” says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The definition of public transport includes Ubers and taxis. The Prime Minister says the consequence for not wearing a mask is that people will not be let into a vehicle. 

“They won’t be able to catch public transport without a face covering or a mask.”

She says we have had several cases where people have “become unwell from a bus journey, so this is a common sense approach for people’s health.”

Auckland’s alert level 3 was due to be lifted at midnight this Wednesday August 26. The Prime Minister says the four-day extension is “necessary to move down a level and stay down”.

 

Monday August 24, 1pm

Today there are 9 new cases.

Eight are community cases and one is an imported case from recent travel.

All are linked to the one main Auckland cluster.

There are currently 123 active cases. 19 of those are imported from recent travel, 104 are community outbreak.

There are 10 people in hospital, two of those are in intensive care.

1.77 million people have downloaded the NZ Covid Tracer App, which is 43 percent of the adult population over 15.