2 new cases of COVID-19 15 July

There are two new cases of COVID-19 to report in managed isolation facilities in New Zealand today.

It has been 75 days since the last case of COVID-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source.

The first case is a man in his 60s who arrived in New Zealand on July 10 from Pakistan via Dubai. He is staying at the Sudima Hotel in Rotorua and tested positive around day 3 of his time in managed isolation.

The second case we are reporting today is a woman in her 50s who arrived in New Zealand on July 10 from Dublin, via Dubai. She is also staying at the Sudima Hotel in Rotorua and also tested positive around day 3 of her time in managed isolation.

These cases bring the total number of active cases in New Zealand to 27.

The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is now 1,197, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.

There is no one in New Zealand receiving hospital-level care for COVID-19.

Yesterday our laboratories completed 2,061 tests. Of those, 902 were conducted in managed isolation or quarantine facilities around day 3 or day 12.

That brings the total number of tests completed to date to 433,324.

Updated testing guidance

Yesterday the Ministry of Health issued updated guidance for clinicians on testing for COVID-19.

The updated advice clarifies for health professionals which lower-risk symptomatic people should be tested in the community.

The emphasis will be on people with respiratory symptoms who are at higher risk of complications if they contract COVID-19, including older people with respiratory symptoms, people with pre-existing conditions, and people in our Maori and Pasifika communities.

It is important that New Zealanders do not become complacent about the threat of COVID-19 – we need to continue testing in our community to ensure we are detecting any cases of the virus that might have slipped through the border.

The updated advice also includes a reminder that throat swabbing is an acceptable option for testing for COVID-19 in these groups. We know a nasopharyngeal swab can be unpleasant for some people. A throat swab can be less invasive and may mean people are less likely to refuse to have a test. People should still be offered a nasopharyngeal swab in the first instance, as the throat swab is slightly less sensitive and requires a higher load of the virus to be present to return a positive test.

Anyone with respiratory or other symptoms of COVID-19 should ring Healthline or their GP to get advice on whether they should be tested. Testing remains free.

NZ COVID Tracer

NZ COVID Tracer has now recorded 596,000 registrations.

The number of posters created is 77,928.

The number of poster scans to date is 1,428,943.

We continue to encourage everyone to download and register with the app, and keep a record of their movements.

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