Matamata bar now linked to 61 cases

Sixty-one cases of Covid-19 have now been linked to a St Patrick's Day celebration at a Matamata bar.

Recent cases of the virus were close contacts of those who attended the Redoubt Bar, a Waikato DHB statement said.

Waikato residents who develop symptoms of coronavirus, such as a dry cough, fever or shortness of breath should visit their local Community Based Assessment Centre.

"The lockdown allows travel to these drive-through facilities," the statement said.

The Matamata cluster is the third largest in the country, behind Auckland's Marist College and a wedding in Bluff.

A cluster is a group of confirmed cases linked together because they've been in the same place.

Only information about "significant clusters" has been published on the Ministry of Health website.

There are now 12 significant clusters across New Zealand.

Two new clusters were yesterday announced in Auckland and Christchurch, with the Christchurch cluster linked to a rest home.

Rosewood Rest Home and Hospitals in Linwood has been named as the centre of the cluster of 16 confirmed and probable cases, up five in the last day.

Twenty of the residents have been moved to be treated at Burwood Hospital to ensure they're appropriately cared for, as the home is extensively cleaned, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said.

None of the people who'd been moved to hospital were there because of Covid symptoms, he said.

The privately owned facility has two specialised dementia care units and a total of 64 residents.

Auckland's Marist College remains the largest Covid-19 cluster in New Zealand, with 72 confirmed cases. Six new cases were announced in the last day.

The entire school of 750 students and staff was told to remain in strict self-isolation.

Primary school-aged children from Marist School in Mount Albert have also tested positive for Covid-19.

The second-largest cluster of the virus has been linked to a Bluff wedding, with four new cases since yesterday.

There are now 62 cases associated with the March 21 wedding, which was held before large gatherings were banned.Sixty-seven new cases of Covid-19 were announced today, with the total nationwide tally now at 1106,

The new cases were made up of 39 new confirmed cases and 28 probables.

Thirteen people are in hospital, three of whom are in ICU. One of them is critical.

Two people have been discharged from hospital since yesterday, with 176 people now recovered from the coronavirus.

Anne Guenole's death remains the only one linked to the virus.

New Zealand could be encouraged by the levelling off of confirmed cases, Bloomfield said earlier.

The only way to ensure the numbers will drop is to keep doing what we're doing, he said.

Despite these promising signs, lockdown will not be lifted earlier than the full four weeks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today.

She didn't want the gains in the first half of the lockdown to be lost in the second half.

Ardern said the four-week lockdown allowed health authorities to see where the spread had happened but should have stopped further transmissions.

It would be four weeks minimum, she said.

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