Two new cases of Covid-19; one new death

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Ministry of Health Covid-19 update

From Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield

May 6, 2020

Today we have two new cases of Covid-19 to report, made up of one confirmed case and one probable case.

The confirmed case is linked to the Marist College cluster. The person who has tested positive for Covid-19 is a student who has been in self-isolation since March 20.

They had been contacted by Healthline in the first week of April and were not unwell, so were not progressed for testing at that stage. As part of the broader testing of Marist students and staff as they head back to school, around 250 people have been tested so far – this has been the only positive result of this group.

This student has a weak positive result and is almost certainly very late in their illness. The significance of a weak positive result so late in the course of the illness is not fully understood but it is likely the person is not infectious at this stage.
The student’s only symptom was a loss of smell that was not significant enough for them to associate it with Covid-19. Public health is taking a precautionary approach and keeping the student in isolation and then re-testing in a week’s time.

This case being discovered emphasises the importance of the testing of the community surrounding the Marist cluster and we would encourage all those Marist students and staff who are yet to get tested to do so.

The probable case we are reporting today is linked to the St Margaret’s Hospital and Rest Home cluster.

It will be important to fully understand the transmission path of cases we find in coming days, and our teams will be working hard to detect the source of any new cases that emerge.

These new cases bring New Zealand’s overall total of Covid-19 cases to 1488.

We have 1138 confirmed cases, which is the number we report to the World Health Organisation, and 350 probable cases.

Of our cases, 1316 are reported as having recovered from Covid-19.

A total of 88 per cent of all confirmed and probable cases have now recovered.

We have two people in hospital with Covid-19 – one in Auckland City and one in Middlemore. Neither are in ICU.

Sadly, today we are reporting the death of a resident from Rosewood Rest Home & Hospital. The death toll due to Covid-19 is now 21 in New Zealand.

The person who passed away yesterday was a woman in her 60s, who had underlying health conditions and was considered a probable case of Covid-19 due to her clinical presentation and past exposure history.
She had been at Rosewood since 2011 and was also much-loved member of the Rosewood family. A Rosewood staff member was comforting her when she passed away.
She was not one of the residents who was transferred to Burwood, but was in the hospital-level care unit at Rosewood.

Our thoughts go out to her family today and in the days, weeks and months that follow.

On testing, there were 4772 tests completed yesterday, with a combined total to date of 160,700.

We still have 16 significant clusters in New Zealand, with three now closed as previously reported.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said New Zealand’s low numbers of Covid-19 cases was encouraging – but we are not out of the woods yet.

“We need everyone to stick to the plan and follow the rules of Alert Level 3.

“Failure to do so risks everything we have achieved so far, and we have all seen how quickly the virus can spread both here and overseas. Don’t give it an inch.”