By: Amelia Wade, Reporter, NZ Herald. This article appears on RNZ.co.nz as is republished under Kaniva News partnerships with Radio New Zealand.
There are nine more cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand – the second day in a row where new cases have been in single figures.
The new cases come as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her Cabinet decide whether to move New Zealand to alert level 3.
Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield will join Ardern for the post-Cabinet press conference at 4pm when it will be revealed if and when New Zealand will move down from alert level 4.
The number of local Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began is 1440.
There are fourteen people in hospital, down four from yesterday.
Three people are in intensive care units – one each in Middlemore, Dunedin and North Shore hospitals. Two of those people are in a critical condition.
The nine new cases are made up of seven confirmed and two probable cases.
There are no additional deaths so the death toll remains at 12.
There are now 974 people with Covid-19 who have recovered – an increase of 62 from yesterday.
Yesterday, 3,081 tests were processed and in total there’s been 86,305 processed to date.
The Ministry of Health said there’d been a number of efforts around wider community testing by public health and primary care.
More than 400 samples were taken from two supermarkets test sites in Mangere and Henderson in Auckland and all had negative results.
“As we have noted previously, this is similar to the results from previous testing in Queenstown and in locations across the Waikato.
“Targeted community testing continues to be part of our ongoing surveillance against Covid-19, which helps provide us with assurance that there is not undetected community transmission.”
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New Zealand will find out this afternoon at 4pm whether the country will come out of lockdown and move to alert level 3.
The Cabinet started meeting at 10.30am and will base its decision on testing and contact tracing capacity, community transmission, border restrictions, and the capacity of the health system.
When asked yesterday if we were likely to stay in level 4 for another week until contact tracing is at a gold standard, Arden said: “We are not going to get into hypotheticals.”
There were nine new coronavirus cases in New Zealand and one new death announced yesterday.
The death brings the total toll to 12 and was of a man in Invercargill who was linked to the Bluff wedding cluster. It is the first coronavirus death in the community.
The man, aged in his 70s, died in his Kingswell home on Tuesday evening. The Bluff wedding cluster has been connected to more than 90 cases, including the death of the groom’s father.
The total of confirmed and probable cases in New Zealand was now 1431, and 912 people had recovered.