New cases of COVID-19 confirmed – no community transmission

Eight new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand have been confirmed today, bringing the total number of cases to 28.

As with the cases confirmed yesterday, these new cases are all related to overseas travel. That’s an important point as it means, at this point there is no evidence of community transmission in New Zealand.

Public health staff are investigating the travel history of the cases so we can quickly identify all close contacts and isolate them.

Of these eight new cases, two are in Southland; two in Taranaki; one in Rotorua; two in Auckland and one in Northland.

Details for each of these cases, including flight information where applicable, will be on the Ministry of Health website as soon as possible.

One of the new cases is in hospital. Others are at home and self-isolating.

While it’s important to be alert to the increasing numbers of cases, we are expecting more, given the rapidly evolving situation overseas. We will continue to identify, test and isolate to ensure we can stamp COVID-19 out and slow it down.

‘We want to ensure New Zealand’s health system is able to continue delivering a whole range of care for all New Zealanders in addition to responding to the demands of COVID-19,’ says the Ministry’s Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Healthline will be provided with the seat numbers of the recent flights and will soon be able to advise anyone on these flights whether they are considered a close contact. Close contacts will be required to undertake 14 days of self-isolation, and will be monitored for symptoms.

Self-isolation

A reminder that self-isolation for cases or close contacts of cases is straight forward – stay at home or in one location.

Self-isolation for those who’ve returned home from overseas is essentially about physical distancing – you can still go for a walk around the block or for a bike ride or get out in the garden.

But it’s important to remember not to socialise or visit places where there are other people.

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