No new Covid-19 cases; further update at 4pm

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Ministry of Health update

March 5, 2021

There are no new cases of Covid-19  to report in the community today.

There are no new cases to report in managed isolation.

The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 68. Our total number of confirmed cases is 2033.

Earthquake and tsunami warning advice
The Ministry urges people in affected areas to follow advice from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and local Civil Defence authorities regarding the earthquake overnight and tsunami warnings today.

As NEMA has already communicated, evacuation advice overrides the current COVID-19 Alert Level requirements in affected areas. Listen to local Civil Defence authorities and follow any instructions. If you are told to evacuate, do not stay at home. Stay 2 metres away from others if you can and if it is safe to do so. Only messages issued by NEMA represent the official warning status for New Zealand.

Affected District Health Boards have plans in place for such circumstances, and we thank people for their patience. The Ministry of Health’s Emergency Management function is working with DHB emergency management teams and we continue to monitor this situation closely.

We understand this situation may be difficult for some people. People can call 1737 to speak to a trained counsellor, and there is a range of other support listed on the Ministry of Health website.

Testing update
We continue to see a strong demand for testing, particularly in Auckland.

On Thursday, 11,402 tests were processed. More than 69,000 tests have been processed in the last week, with a seven-day rolling average up to yesterday of 9,903 tests processed.

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,763,008.

For up-to-date information on testing locations in Auckland visit www.arphs.health.nz/covid19test
For all testing locations nationwide visit www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19

As always, anywhere you are in the country, if you have symptoms please stay home and call Healthline (0800 358 5453) for advice.

Auckland February cases contact tracing update
We would like to acknowledge the incredible work of our public health and contact tracing teams, who have scaled up their approach in response to this more transmissible variant.

These people have been working long hours, seven days a week, to follow up with all close contacts as quickly as possible and are in daily contact with people isolating.

In the Auckland February outbreak, close to 6000 people have been contacted and provided with advice and information on testing and self-isolation.

Local public health officials, contact tracers and interpreters and have also worked closely with other agencies and organisations to provide outreach and support to communities, including those from different ethnic and language backgrounds.

The dates and times of potential exposure events are on the locations of interest page on the Ministry’s website. This page also has public health advice for contacts.

Good progress has been made and we would particularly like to particularly acknowledge the Papatoetoe High School community. All the outstanding Papatoetoe students have been contacted and retested and have all returned negative results.

A public health plan is in place around the two students who have declined to be tested. These students are being closely managed by Auckland public health officials.

Waste water testing
Further results from ESR’s wastewater testing have come in. Samples taken on Wednesday from three Auckland sites, including Papatoetoe, have all come back negative for the virus. An additional sample was taken from a site closer to Papatoetoe on the same day, also testing negative.

A sample from the South Western Interceptor came back positive for the same day, but this is a regular occurrence as it is near the Auckland quarantine facility.

Historical cases
Since January 1, there have now been 37 historical cases, out of a total of 223 cases.

NZ Covid Tracer
NZ Covid Tracer now has 2,730,814 registered users.

Poster scans have reached 206,986,009 and users have created 8,189,593 manual diary entries.

There have been 1,558,151 scans in the 24 hours to 1pm yesterday, and 1,421,206 scans per day on average for the past week.

It’s critical to keep track of where you’ve been and the Covid Tracer app is an easy way to do this. Please continue to scan QR codes wherever you go and turn on Bluetooth tracing in the app dashboard if you haven’t already done so.

Next update
Further information will be provided when the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield provide an update on Cabinet’s review of the current Alert Level settings at 4pm.