COVID-19 Update: 22 March, 2020

Today we have 14 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed by laboratory test in New Zealand.

Locations are: Auckland 5, Northland 1, Christchurch 1, New Plymouth 2, Waikato 3 (including 1 in Hamilton), Tauranga 1, Dunedin 1.

Close contacts of all these cases are being followed up.

11 of these new cases have a history of international travel. One is a close contact of a confirmed case. Two were at the World Hereford Conference in Queenstown earlier in the month which had a range of New Zealand and international delegates.

Just over 1200 laboratory tests were carried out yesterday, bringing the total number of completed tests to 6000.

Community transmission status

There were two cases announced yesterday where community transmission could not be ruled out. Our further investigations of these two cases have still not identified a firm link to overseas travel, says Director General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

“For clarity, community transmission is when we cannot confirm exactly where the infection came from. As we investigate cases, close contact tracing continues to grow our understanding of the infection pathway and we can then communicate with anybody who may have been a close or casual contact and ensure appropriate action is taken. We can also then update local communities about events or situations where contact may have occurred.

“I understand that people in those areas will be concerned about the risk of transmission so I also ask that you keep up good hygiene practices, physical distancing and seek advice if you have symptoms.”

Details for each of the cases mentioned today, and the tally of confirmed cases, will be on the Ministry of Health website

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.