Covid case numbers falling overall, but not in the south
In an update on the Covid-19 situation in the country, Director of Public Health Caroline McElnay says the South Island is still seeing rising cases of Covid, despite a sustained drop in case numbers further north.
Despite the deaths being reported today, McElnay says it is encouraging to see an overall and sustained drop in case numbers.
"For three days last week, case numbers were reported at over 20,000...today's case number is up a bit (on Monday) but that is to be expected as testing rates are always a bit low over the weekend."
The reduction in case numbers has been most pronounced in Auckland. Cases have fallen from just under 4300 reported cases last Monday to 2300 yesterday.
McElnay says while numbers overall are dropping, regional spikes are occurring.
The so-called "Mexican wave of cases" is being reflected the most in Canterbury, she says. "We're seeing those numbers roll down the country."
Overall, numbers are expected to continue to decrease over the week.
The only DHBs with increases in numbers are Whanganui, MidCentral, Taranaki and the South Island DHBs.
"That probably tells us that the rest of New Zealand is about a couple of weeks behind Auckland."
"It gives us a signal of where we hope to be in the next couple of weeks."
"We are optimistic that in the next couple of weeks the rest of the country will follow the same pattern as Auckland and we will see a drop in hospitalisation and a decrease in pressure on our health services."
McElnay says once you test positive for Covid-19, you should not test again for 28 days.
If you develop new symptoms after that, then test. If you test positive, you are considered a new case and you must isolate again.
This weekend was the start of eased restrictions which the government announced early last week.
Meanwhile, more than 1300 doses of Novavax's Covid-19 vaccine, which has been available since 14 March for those who cannot have the Pfizer jab or would prefer not to, have so far been administered.