Lowest number of new cases since February

The seven-day rolling average of southern Covid-19 cases has dropped by 74, as Otago and Southland yesterday recorded the lowest daily new case number since February 20.

Yesterday, 116 new community cases were reported across both southern provinces, the lowest daily total since 111 on February 20, which was the third day of the outbreak of the highly infectious Omicron variant of the pandemic disease reaching the lower South Island.

On Sunday, just 69 new cases were reported, and the rolling seven-day average has continued to fall steeply: yesterday it was 151, down from 225 the preceding Monday.

There were 1062 active cases of Covid in the region, which placed the South sixth out of the 20 health regions. However, that figure was down from 1458 a week ago. A fortnight ago it was almost 1900.

The latest ESR wastewater testing report suggested that reported case and wastewater prevalence rates were similar in Dunedin, but that case numbers were still being under reported in Invercargill, Gore, Alexandra, Cromwell and Queenstown.

Nationally, the Ministry of Health reported 1653 new community cases yesterday.

The national seven-day rolling average of community cases was 2425: a week ago it was 3655.

There were 341 people in hospital who had Covid-19, 10 of whom were in the South.

The seven-day rolling average of hospitalisations was 351: last Monday it was 472.

The ministry also reported a further six people who were Covid positive had died, one of whom was from southern.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday confirmed that the Government would review whether New Zealand would stay at the Orange setting of the traffic light setting system "post-winter".

Ms Ardern said the Government would review Covid protocols and "make sure they are fit for purpose and make sense."