1 May 2020

Three new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand

1:33 pm on 1 May 2020

There have been three new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in New Zealand today, with no further deaths.

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay said one of the new cases was linked to overseas travel, one to a known case and one was under investigation.

Watch the media conference here:

There are six people in hospital, and none are in intensive care.

"We have 1252 cases that are reported as having recovered from Covid-19, which is an increase of 11 from yesterday, and so 85 percent of all our confirmed and probable cases are considered to be recovered."

She said there are now a total of 1132 confirmed cases and 347 probable cases.

There are still 16 significant clusters, but Dr McElnay said one cluster has not seen new cases in 28 days and will be closed.

"We expect to close another cluster tomorrow and we have another further six clusters where the last case was reported between 14 and 28 days ago, so we expect to be able to close those off in the next few days."

She said of the three staff members that have tested positive for Covid-19 at Waitakere Hospital, one was included in today's cases, one from yesterday and one over the weekend.

Dr McElnay said the source of staff contracting the coronavirus was still under investigation, but full PPE was provided and worn by staff at all times in the area where the St Margaret's Hospital and Rest Home patients were being cared for.

Today is the 13th day in a row that the increase in Covid-19 cases had been in single digits. The death toll stands at 19.

Speaking at the same conference, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said there have been 281 breaches under level 3, an increase of 96 in the past 24 hours. He said the increase in numbers showed police were stepping up enforcement.

Robertson said most New Zealanders were doing the right thing and increases in breaches come from people making reports.

But he did note that there had been an increase in reports about parties in residential houses, and Robertson warned those making plans for the weekend to cancel them now, as the virus had proven it will spread easily at events like these.

He said police would have a "dim view" on this kind of activity.

"Don't be an idiot, stick to your bubble and everyone will be better off."

Robertson also said the arts sector had suffered an intense blow as we fight Covid-19, but paid tribute to events like the New Zealand International Film Festival, which will be screened online this year.

"This year in New Zealand, we are bringing our arthouse to your house.

"The joy, inspiration and connection these festivals bring us will be missed by many, but now we have a creative solution, befitting of our cultural sector, and one that is well worthy of our support."

There were also three new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in New Zealand yesterday.

Today is the fourth day of the country being at alert level 3 which has allowed some people to return to work and school and restaurants and cafes to provide takeaways provided social distancing rules are maintained and payment is contactless.

However, some fast food workers have been speaking up about feeling unsafe saying they are afraid to challenge breaches of Covid-19 rules at restaurants.

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