49 new community cases of Covid-19, what Alert Level 3 means for NZ south of Auckland

There are 49 new cases of Covid-19 in the community today - the lowest in six days, director general of health Ashley Bloomfield says.

Sixty-six per cent of new cases reported yesterday were household contacts. Seventy-seven per cent did not create any exposure events.

Of the cases reported yesterday, only 23 per cent are considered to be infectious in the community.

The cases could have been visiting the supermarket or have been an essential worker, Bloomfield.

The reproduction rate is remaining under 1, and "we are successfully breaking chains of transmission," Bloomfield.

Thirty-three people are in hospital, 8 in ICU, two are being ventilated.

Bloomfield said it's "sobering" that six cases in Auckland are under the age of one.

Bloomfield reminded people that it is safe to receive hospital-level care under alert level protocols.

There were 16,755 tests processed nationwide yesterday.

The 7 day rolling average for tests is 31,600.

PM's golden rules for alert level 3

Regions outside of Northland and Auckland move to alert level 3 at midnight tonight.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said some people who are isolated and who need child care support can bring another person into their bubble under alert level 3.

Contactless delivery can occur but all staff are legally required to wear a mask for outwardly facing businesses such as supermarkets and petrol stations.

The "golden rules" for everyone south of Auckland: Keep your distance from people, continue working from home if possible and keep children at home with you. They should only go to school if parents are essential workers.

Public venues remain closed such as gyms, pools, playgrounds and markets.

Travel is restricted for work for those needing to pick up goods in a contactless way.

From tomorrow anyone aged 12 or older can book a vaccine.

Funerals, weddings and Tangihanga are allowed for up to 10 people.

Businesses must be contactless and meet requirements such as wearing face coverings to operate.

Boundary rules: Personal travel between alert levels is highly limited, Ardern said.

West Auckland flooding

Ardern also issued an update on the wild weather in West Auckland today and said fire and emergency staff responded to 370 incidents involving flooding, power lines and trees down.

If people are in need in shelter, they should report to the Auckland Council building in Henderson, Ardern said.

Emergency situations and evacuation advice overrides alert level advice, the prime minister said.

There will be some bubbles by necessity that are joining others simply because they need shelter, Ardern said.

Alert level shift

Auckland will remain in level 4 for two more weeks, while the rest of the country south of Auckland will move to Level 3 at midnight today.

All going well with testing, Ardern said yesterday Northland would move to level 3 at 11.59pm Thursday.

Public health guidelines

  1. Stay home
  2. If you have to go out make sure you wear a mask
  3. Stay in your bubble and reduce contact with others
  4. Act as if you have Covid-19 and as if others around you do to 

For more information visit covid19.govt.nz.

This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.