Covid 19 coronavirus: No new community cases; Cabinet meets to decide on lockdown, alert levels

There are no new Covid-19 community cases, igniting hopes Auckland can exit its alert level 3 restrictions this weekend.

There are also no new cases in managed isolation, said the Ministry of Health in a statement.

Cabinet is meeting this afternoon to decide on whether Auckland can exit its alert level 3 lockdown this weekend and the rest of the country can move out of alert level 2.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is scheduled to hold a press conference at 4pm, which will be livestreamed here.

It is the fifth straight day of no new positive cases of Covid-19 in the community.

The ministry said a plan had been put in place to monitor the two Papatoetoe students who refused to be tested.

“These students are being closely managed by Auckland public health officials,” it said.

Good progress had been made overall and that was due to the co-operation of the Papatoetoe High School community, the ministry said.

“All the outstanding Papatoetoe students have been contacted and retested and have all returned negative results.”

New Zealand’s total number of active cases remains at 68 with 2033 confirmed cases. The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,763,008.

“We continue to see a strong demand for testing, particularly in Auckland,” the Ministry of Health said.

The ministry also congratulated its contact tracing teams

“In the Auckland February outbreak, close to 6000 people have been contacted and provided with advice and information on testing and self-isolation,” it said.

“Local public health officials, contact tracers and interpreters and have also worked closely with other agencies and organisations to provide outreach and support to communities, including those from different ethnic and language backgrounds.

“These people have been working long hours, seven days a week, to follow up with all close contacts as quickly as possible and are in daily contact with people isolating.”

Auckland has been at level 3 and the rest of the country at level 2 since last Sunday at 6am. At 4pm Ardern is due to announce whether those levels will change.

Adding to hopes the nation can move out of alert levels was the latest negative results from wastewater testing.

Samples taken on Wednesday from three Auckland sites, including Papatoetoe, have all come back negative for the virus. An additional sample was taken from a site closer to Papatoetoe on the same day, also testing negative.

Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield yesterday said he was confident a “sharp perimeter” had been erected around the current outbreak.

The NZ Covid Tracer, meanwhile, now has 2,730,814 registered users.

Poster scans have reached 206,986,009 and users have created 8,189,593 manual diary entries.

There have been 1,558,151 scans in the 24 hours to 1pm yesterday, and 1,421,206 scans per day on average for the past week.

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