TODAY |

Officials announce 82 new Covid-19 cases, but are 'confident' numbers are not surging

New Zealand now has 950 cases of Covid-19, up by 82 today. While updating the numbers, officals also announced a new Health Act update that aims to clarify the dos and don'ts of how to isolate during alert level four.

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It comes as debate continues over whether Kiwis should be wearing face masks. Source: 1 NEWS

No new deaths were reported today and the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital has dropped to 10, all in a stable condition.

Fronting media, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the section 71F notice was issued under the Health Act 1956. He said it aims to provide greater clarity around police powers during the level four lockdown, and what people can and can't do while in isolation.

"The purpose of the notice is to provide clarification for people about what is expected under an Alert Level 4 lockdown situation. It also includes what an acceptable bubble situation is.

"This is a public health notice. It underscores the fact that what we are all responding to is a major threat to public health in New Zealand."

As of today, 127 people have now recovered from the virus and the nation's Covid-19 death toll remains at one.

Dr Bloomfield said today's case update was made up of 52 confirmed cases and 30 probable cases. A probable case is when a test comes back negative but it's being treated as confirmed as the person's symptoms fit the criteria of coronavirus.

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Dr Ashley Bloomfied, Director-General of Health, gave the update today. Source: 1 NEWS

He said there are 10 people in hospitals around the country, including one person in ICU. Aside from the person in ICU, everyone is in a stable condition.

Yesterday, officials did the highest number of tests in one day at 3631. A total of 33,116 Covid-19 tests to date have been done with a capacity to do over 6000 tests per day across the country.

For the cases officials have information on, a strong link to overseas travel remains at 47 per cent as well as links to confirmed cases in New Zealand at 34 per cent.

Dr Caroline McElnay, Director of Public Health, also provided an update on the technical advisory group. She said the group has met and updated the coronavirus case definition.

Testing is now available for people with respiratory problems suggestive of Covid-19 regardless of their travel history or contact with a confirmed of probable case, and fever is no longer a requirement.

Around one per cent of cases announced have been concluded as community linked transmission, but around 17 per cent are still being investigated. Dr Bloomfield said in the coming days those cases may result in community links.

Yesterday, Otago University public health professor Michael Baker told 1 NEWS the lack of cases in the community is "very optimistic" for the country's overall fight against the virus. Mr Baker also said it's optimistic New Zealand isn't "seeing many people turn up at hospital unexpectedly with pneumonia".