More and more clusters of COVID-19 are popping up across New Zealand.
The latest data shows there are 14 "significant" clusters of cases in various different regions of the countries. According to the Ministry of Health, a cluster is where there is a group of COVID-19 cases linked together as they have been in the same location. Most clusters have a link to someone who has travelled overseas.
New Zealand's 14 significant clusters:
- Marist College, Auckland: 48 cases
- World Hereford Conference, Queenstown: 24 cases
- Redoubt bar, Matamata: 23 cases
- A Wellington group which travelled to the United States: 16 cases
- A rest home in Hamilton: 14 cases
- A private wedding in Wellington: 11 cases
- A Blenheim sports team's visit to the United States: 9 cases
- A business in Christchurch: 8 cases
- A private wedding in Bluff: 8 cases
- A local organisation in Marlborough: 6 cases
- A cluster in Hutt City (one of two): 4 cases
- A cluster in Auckland: 4 cases
- A local business in Auckland: 4 cases
- A cluster in Hutt City (two of two): 3 cases
Overall, there are 647 confirmed or probable cases in New Zealand. Broken down, there are 600 confirmed and 47 probable. There are 14 people in hospital with the illness and one person has died. Seventy-four people have recovered.
Probable cases are counted alongside confirmed cases as this is where an individual has returned a negative test, a clinician believes it likely that they have the illness due to their exposure history and symptoms.
There are a range of symptoms for COVID-19, but the main ones doctors are looking out for are a fever, shortness of breath and a cough. While most people who develop the illness will only have mild symptoms, others require hospital treatment, particularly the elderly.
People with these symptoms are now able to be tested for the illness, even if they haven't got a link to overseas travel or a confirmed/probable case. This was a change in criteria announced by the Prime Minister on Tuesday.
Over the next three weeks, as New Zealand remains in lockdown, authorities will be watching to see how the restrictions affect the rate of community transmission in the country. If it decreases or is eliminated nationwide, the country may drop to alert level 3. However, if it stays high or some regions still have widespread transmission, the lockdown may stay in place nationally or in specific areas.
Of our cases, 1 percent are defined as community transmission, while 53 percent had links to overseas travel, 29 percent had contact with a known case and 17 percent were under investigation. Since early March, more than 21,000 tests have been conducted with an average of 1777 per day over the last week.