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Schools unlikely close unless coronavirus reaches community spread, Jacinda Ardern says

Schools are unlikely to close unless coronavirus reaches community spread, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today.

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The Prime Minister told reporters that closing schools may not help contain Covid-19, however. Source: 1 NEWS

It comes as the Prime Minister this afternoon unveiled a new four-level alert system to help contain Covid-19.

The country is currently at alert level two, where Covid-19 is contained but the risks are growing as more cases arise. Unnecessary travel should be contained and more travel restrictions are put in place. People who aged 70 and above, are immunocompromised or have certain preexisting conditions must stay at home as much as possible, Ms Ardern said.

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New Zealanders have also been urged to limit non-essential travel.

The country now has 52 confirmed cases of coronavirus, after 13 new cases were announced today by Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. There are also four probable cases.

Currently, schools with confirmed cases of coronavirus are forced to close for 72 hours while contact tracing is carried out and the premises is thoroughly cleaned before reopening.

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Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said he could not rule out the possibility of community spread. Source: 1 NEWS

"If we have wider community outbreak, that guidance may change, but I want to assure people my number one concern of course is the school, the people who work within it, but the children as well," Ms Ardern said.

"Breaking schools up now may not, however, reduce community transmission."