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Record 2522 new Covid cases: 111 in the south

Feb 20, 2022

New Zealand's daily Covid-19 numbers have surpassed the 2000 mark for the first time, with a record 2522 new community cases reported today.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said there were 100 people in hospital with the coronavirus. None are in ICU.

Today's new cases include 1799 in the Auckland DHBs, with the other cases reported in the Northland (41), Waikato (188), Bay of Plenty (86), Lakes (11), Hawke's Bay (24), MidCentral (13), Whanganui (2), Taranaki (9), Tairāwhiti (12), Wairarapa (14), Capital and Coast (54), Hutt Valley (25), Nelson Marlborough (53), Canterbury (76), South Canterbury (1) and Southern (111) DHBs.

There were also 17 new cases reported at the border, including four historical cases.

There were 1901 new community cases reported yesterday, with 1929 new cases reported on Friday.

The total number of cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand has now gone past the 30,000 mark, at 30,694.

The ministry was unable to provide any information on yesterday's vaccination numbers, due to a "database reporting issue".

Rapid Antigen Testing update

The ministry also issued a reminder today that rapid antigen tests will be made available at all Auckland testing sites to those who fit the appropriate clinical criteria, with access to the tests expanded further during the coming week.

"As the outbreak grows more people will have Covid and there will be more close contacts we need to test. As planned we will now increase the use of RATs in phase 2 and phase 3 of our response in order to relieve pressure on the PCR testing and reserve it for those most likely to have Covid.

"As we've previously said, only those with symptoms or who have been identified as close contacts of a case, or directed by a health professional to get tested should be turning up at testing sites."

The ministry said testing continued to be one of the best defences against Covid-19, but it was important to reiterate that people do not need to get tested unless they are unwell with cold or flu symptoms, have been identified as a close contact of a case or have been instructed to do so by health officials.

"As this demand has grown, some Covid-19 test results for Auckland and Waikato are currently taking longer to process at laboratories.

"The use of rapid antigen testing, alongside PCR testing, will improve this process at a time of exceptional demand in Phase 2, provided the testing centre queues are freely available for those who really need a test."

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