Wellington Scoop

Covid-19: 20 more NZ cases; two more in the Hutt Valley

The total of covid-19 cases in Wellington and the Hutt Valley is now 108, two more than two days ago. The Wellington total is unchanged at 88, a figure which includes the man who died. The Hutt total has risen to 20. There are no patients in Wellington or Hutt Hospitals.

News from Ministry of Health
Today New Zealand’s total of COVID-19 cases has increased by 20, made up of 6 new confirmed cases and 14 new probable cases. There have been no further deaths. The new combined total of confirmed and probable cases in New Zealand is 1386.

There are now 728 cases which have recovered – an increase of 100 on yesterday. Recovered cases continue to dominate the number of new cases.

There are 13 people in hospital. The total includes three people in ICU – one each in Middlemore, Dunedin and North Shore hospitals. Two of these ICU patients – in North Shore and Dunedin – are in a critical condition.

For those cases we have information on, 48% involve contact with a confirmed case within New Zealand including those in known clusters, 39% have a link with overseas travel and community transmission accounts for 2%.

2100 tests were processed yesterday, with a rolling 7-day average of 2761 and total tests to date of 66,499.

The Director-General has spoken with DHB CEOs around the need to increase testing following the Easter break. DHBs are committed to increasing testing – including the use of mobile testing in some places to reach specific communities.

There are now 16 significant clusters, one more than yesterday. This cluster is in Auckland and is again connected to an aged residential care facility. A significant cluster is when there are 10 or more cases of COVID-19 that are connected.

Healthcare Workers
The Ministry is working on further analysis of data involving healthcare workers and COVID-19 infection. What we’ve observed so far is that in cases of domestic transmission involving healthcare workers, only a relatively small number of cases involve transmission from patient to worker

For instance, from yesterday’s figure of 107 healthcare workers, we asked how many had been infected outside the workplace – that is, because they had travelled overseas, or were a household or non-household contact of a case outside of their workplace. The answer was 56.

We also asked how many healthcare workers were infected in the course of their work, and, of these, how many were infected from exposure to a colleague who was infected outside the workplace, and how many were infected by exposure to an infected patient/resident. That combined total was 46. There were five instances where it wasn’t clear where the infection came from and these will be investigated further.

What this means is that there are a relatively small number of cases involving healthcare workers which are due to transmission from a patient or resident to a worker. In the majority of these transmissions within healthcare settings, more staff have been infected than patients. There will be further breakdowns of this data in the weeks to come.

The Ministry says this analysis reinforces the way healthcare providers are working hard to prevent and manage infections across the sector. As an example and following an earlier outbreak, one provider has now successfully prevented any further cases for 17 days. This is very good work.