No new cases of COVID-19 today
There are no new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand today.
The Minister of Health Chris Hipkins and the Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield provided a COVID-19 update at 1pm today.
It has been 97 days since the last case of COVID-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source.
Dr Ashley Bloomfield says one further case is considered to have recovered.
This brings the total number of active cases in managed isolation facilities is now 23.
Ashley says no one is receiving hospital-level care.
Yesterday, laboratories processed 5200 tests for COVID-19.
Two of those swabs were taken in managed isolation and quarantine facilities, and the rest were undertaken in the community.
Ashley says it is encouraging to see the rise in testing numbers.
The Government has confirmed a community-wide trial of CovidCard technology as it explores options for COVID-19 contact tracing. They will roll out a trial involving around 250-300 people in Rotorua.
Chris Hipkins says the card has the potential to make contact tracing faster.
Any decision on whether to deploy the CovidCard will be made later this year, he says.
At this stage, it is not anticipated that the CovidCard would be mandatory.
Dr Bloomfield says the Ministry has updated its advice on face masks.
It is now recommending households add sufficient masks for every member of the household.
"These do not need to be medical-grade masks."
Currently it is not necessary to wear masks, Ashley says but if there are further outbreaks of COVID-19, masks will be another important component for the government's strategy.
"We are asking members of the public to view face masks as another important component of their emergency preparedness kits," he says.
"Masks are one tool in the toolbox to help reduce the risk of spread between people. Our elimination strategy of course is still based on strong border protection, testing, contact tracing, isolating people who are infected and of course - the minister's mentioned this - physical distancing."
"We will be continuing to work with the health system to ensure there are medical-grade masks available to people who need them."
There were two new cases of COVID-19 to report in managed isolation facilities in New Zealand yesterday.
The first case was a man in his 20s who arrived in New Zealand on July 23 from the Philippines via Hong Kong.
He has been in managed isolation at the Rydges in Rotorua and tested negative for COVID-19 around day 3 of his stay.
He has been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility after testing positive around day 12 of his stay in managed isolation, says a statement from the Ministry of Health.
The second case was a a woman in her 40s who arrived in New Zealand on August 1 from the Philippines via Hong Kong.
She has been in managed isolation at the Grand Millennium in Auckland, and tested positive around day 3 of her stay.
The total number of active cases in managed isolation facilities in New Zealand was 24.