One new Covid-19 case today

New Zealand has one new case of Covid-19 today - a child in managed isolation.The child, and their parents who were previously reported as having Covid-19, arrived from Italy on July 4.

The family is in quarantine at the Commodore Hotel in Christchurch.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins and director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield gave today's Covid-19 update.

Health chief Ashley Bloomfield is giving today's update. Photo: Getty Images
Health chief Ashley Bloomfield. Photo: Getty Images

Bloomfield said a patient thought to have recovered from Covid-19 had been returned to isolation after another positive test.

The patient had an underlying health condition, he said.

Hipkins said a fire alarm at a hotel which is housing people in managed isolation went off at 3.30pm yesterday.

It accidentally went off when furniture was being moved, Hipkins said.

Some 154 people were at the hotel. The people were cleared for re-entry 20 minutes after the alarm went off and social distancing was practised, he said.

It is 76 days since the last case of community transmission in NZ, Bloomfield said. There was no evidence of community transmission, he said.

He said there have been tens of thousands of tests in the community during the past few weeks.

Hipkins said it was difficult to gauge how many New Zealanders would come home over coming weeks.

Asked if more isolation facilities are needed, Hipkins said the Government is focusing on the facilitates it has now.

"There is a lot that goes into running these facilities," he said, adding there is health and security teams needed.

He said the Government continues to make sure that everything is robust.

Hipkins thanked people who had isolated on arrival in NZ - some had stayed as long as 28 or 30 days, Bloomfield said.

He acknowledged that was a long time, especially for families with young children.

Hipkins said facilities have a whole stash of nappies and toys to help with kids and most people were "being amazing".

Hipkins said there were a lot of people working shifts at the isolation hotels.

"They are highly staffed," he said, but couldn't say an exact number.

He said testing on those people is starting to "ramp up."

Bloomfield said a lot of the staff were from the defence force and they rotated in and out - and were tested often.

One previously reported case is now considered to have recovered, so the number of active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand remains at 27.

The total number of confirmed cases is now 1198.

No one in New Zealand is receiving hospital-level care for Covid-19.

Yesterday, New Zealand's laboratories completed 2899 tests, and 726 of those were taken at managed isolation or quarantine facilities. The total number of completed tests is now 436,233.

Hipkins said he was confident that testing rates would come up.

The NZ Covid Tracer app has now recorded 607,000 registrations after a "flurry" of Kiwis downloaded it overnight.

Hipkins said there had been 11,000 new registrations of the app.

He was happy to hear this. He said for contact tracing to be effective, people needed to know where they had been.

Bloomfield said there was no cost of people to be tested for Covid-19.

Anyone wanting advice on getting a test should ring Healthline, he said.

Bloomfield said it was good to see the number of Covid-19 tracing app downloads increase so significantly but would like more people to download it.

He said the Government is exploring getting a bluetooth function to help with contact tracing.

Hipkins said early on, it was difficult for businesses to make posters for Covid tracing, but that has been made easier.

"The message really is it is easier," he said.

But he said he would "like them [businesses] to do more".

He "strongly" encouraged businesses to get the official poster.

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