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No New Cases Of COVID-19

For eight days in a row, there have been no new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand.

Our total number of confirmed cases remains at 1,154, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.

Our combined total of confirmed and probable cases remains at 1,504.

The number of recovered cases is unchanged at 1,481. Only one case remains active.

There are no additional deaths to report.

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

Yesterday our laboratories completed 3,020 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 278, 872.

Contact Tracing

The Ministry continues to closely monitor the timeliness of contract tracing using the performance metrics outlined by Dr Ayesha Verrall in her review of the service.

The Ministry continues to review progress and make ongoing improvements.

The key performance metric is the time taken from the notification of a case to the local Public Health Unit to having all close contacts isolated (metric three). The target is to have 80% of close contacts isolated within 48 hours of notification to a PHU.

The Ministry is pleased that all the hard work by public health units over recent months is paying off and they are now meeting this target with 83 per cent of close contacts being isolated within 48 hours.

The Ministry does measure the time taken from the first onset of symptoms to the isolation of all close contacts but is not routinely reporting this data as we work on improving our confidence in the quality of the data.

Timeliness of contact tracing depends in part on quick action by anybody with symptoms promptly seeking medical advice about getting a test.

The latest Ministry of Health contact tracing metrics: https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/pages/national_close_contact_tracing_metrics_13_apr_-_11_may.pdf

CBACs

As at 29 May there were 64 active CBACs (Community Based Assessment Centres) operating around the country and 105 designated practices, including mobile clinics, providing assessments and swabbing.

The Ministry has requested that DHBs continue to ensure equitable access to testing for those who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Each DHB will be making its own decisions on how best to provide testing over the coming weeks and this may involve a mix of CBACs, mobile services, primary care and other community-based testing.

Each DHB will determine when and if it is appropriate for them to close their CBACs, while ensuring that testing is available.

We will likely see a drop in the testing numbers from this week, as we move to largely testing symptomatic people though with a continued focus on testing at the border. We will keep our testing approach under constant review to respond to any changes as we have done to date.

We have continued to review and update our sentinel and surveillance testing strategy throughout the response. An updated testing strategy will be considered by Cabinet next week. We anticipate any updates on this strategy should be publicly available by mid-June

Our website includes information on our testing for COVID-19 during Alert Level 3 & 2.

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-current-situation/covid-19-current-cases/covid-19-testing-rates-ethnicity-and-dhb

COVID-19 testing in Alert Levels 3 and 2 to support New Zealand’s elimination strategy (PDF, 209 KB)

NZ COVID Tracer app

The NZ COVID Tracer app has now recorded 458,000 registrations – that’s an increase of 12,000 since this time yesterday.

We continue to encourage as many people as possible to download the app – it will help us identify, trace, test and isolate any cases of COVID-19.

We also recognise the work being done by businesses to get their unique QR codes up and running, and we will provide updated figures on this tomorrow.

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