Covid cases climb in Central ahead of holiday influx

by Kim Bowden - Apr 13, 2022

Local health officials are warning Covid-19 is far more common in the Southern community than reported case numbers would suggest, as the country readies itself to move to fewer restrictions at midnight.

In its daily media update, the Southern District Health Board says recent wastewater testing has shown the region is highly likely to have many more cases than are currently being reported.

The responsibility on individuals to self-report positive Covid test results has resulted in "significant under-reporting", the statement says.

At 11.59pm tonight the whole of New Zealand will move to alert level orange in the Covid-19 traffic light framework.

However the SDHB says this is a reflection of what is happening nationally.

"The Southern district has not yet reached a point in our outbreak where our community is safe from widespread community transmission," the statement says.

Dr Hywel Lloyd, the DHB's Covid-19 response lead, says cases continue to rise, especially in Central Otago, where the region is now seeing its steepest rise in cases.

It's also where plenty of holidaymakers will be heading over the long Easter weekend.

"We all love to enjoy what Central and Queenstown has to offer, but our health system is stretched because of Covid-19 related staff absence in Central Otago," Dr Lloyd says.

“We are also seeing a continuing rise in infections in our 65-plus population and in those in the 40 to 50-year-old age group.”  

 While officially things are at orange, the doctor's advising people to act like it's red to protect vulnerable people in the community.

“It is now up to us, as a community, to make decisions that protect our loved ones and the vulnerable members of our society.

"The easiest and best way to do this is to make the decision to continue to wear a mask, just like we have been under the red traffic light settings.

“Wearing a mask, wearing it properly, and practicing physical distancing, as well as being fully vaccinated and boosted, is the best defence we all have against catching Covid-19 and stopping the spread of it to our loved ones.”  

The SDHB has today reported an additional 1,148 community cases of Covid-19, with 144 of them in Queenstown Lakes and 93 in Central Otago.

It brings the total number of active cases in the last seven days to 7,497.

There are 32 people in Southern hospitals with the virus - 22 in Dunedin, nine in Invercargill, and one in Queenstown.

Current hospitalisations as at 8am, April 13, 2022 (Source SDHB) 
















Please note that hospitalisation data does not differentiate between patients admitted because of Covid-19 infection versus those admitted for a separate reason who happen to also have Covid-19. 

Current cases as of 11.59pm, April 12, 2022 (Source SDHB) 

Territorial Authority 

New – Positive (PCR & RAT) 

Active Cases 




Central Otago 


























Please note, the Ministry of Health’s daily reported cases may differ slightly from those reported at a DHB or local public health unit level. This is because of different reporting cut off times and the assignment of cases between regions, for example when a case is tested outside their usual region of residence. Total numbers will always be the formal daily case tally as reported to the WHO. Due to the increased use of RATs and system lag issues there may be a discrepancy in the number of total active cases from the territorial authority breakdown. A decision has been made nationally that areas with less than 5 new cases per 24-hour period will be reported as “<5”. All territorial authorities with less than 100 cases will have their case numbers rounded to the nearest 5. We are unable to supply further information. Please contact the Ministry of Health directly for more information about these decisions.  

Covid-19 in the South - What you need to know:

  • Please only get tested if you have symptoms or are a household contact of a confirmed case.
  • Testing locations can be found on the WellSouth website.
  • If you test positive on a RAT test you do not need to have that confirmed by PCR – you are a case. Please update your My Covid Record with your result. Call 0800 222 478, option 3, if you need any support to do this.
  • If you receive a text notification that you are positive, please do the online survey in the link you receive in the text message as soon as possible. This will ensure you can receive the appropriate care and support when you need it. Please be aware that, after filling in your My Covid Record with your positive RAT result, there can be a 24-hour delay before you receive this text message. 
  • Prepare now to self-isolate if you or a family member or housemate tests positive.
  • If you are self-isolating and require welfare support such as help getting groceries, please call 0800 512 337.
  • If you have concerns about Covid-19 symptoms, call your general practice or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 at any time. If you are very unwell or having breathing difficulties, call 111 immediately.



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