Coronavirus: No new COVID-19 cases in New Zealand's managed isolation facilities

There are no new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand's managed isolation facilities, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Wednesday.

It has now been 82 days since the last case of COVID-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source, indicating there is no evidence of community transmission.

The total number of active cases in New Zealand remains at 27. All positive results were obtained due to routine testing of new arrivals in managed isolation or quarantine facilities. 

No one is currently receiving hospital-level care for the virus.

The total number of confirmed cases remains at 1205, which is the number reported to the World Health Organization.

Laboratories completed 2191 tests on Tuesday, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 446,367.

"Testing remains a crucial part of our overall response and we all have a part to play. Testing in the community is fundamental to our efforts to ensure we stay ahead of COVID-19. If you are offered a swab, then please take up that offer," the ministry said in a statement.

There are currently 617,200 registered users on the Government's official NZ COVID Tracer app, designed to aid with contact tracing efforts in the event of a future outbreak within the community.

To date, 80,318 posters have been created and there have been 1,521,582 poster scans. App users are urged to scan the QR code posters when they enter a business in order to store their location history. In the event of a future outbreak, health officials can then use the data stored on the app - described as a "digital diary" of sorts - to track potential close contacts of an existing case.

"The ministry continues to remind New Zealanders to keep a record of where they've been as this remains one of the best tools in the continued fight against COVID-19," said the statement.

Meanwhile in Australia, the state of Victoria has recorded 484 cases of the virus in just 24 hours, hitting a bleak new record. Melbourne and the adjacent Mitchell Shire are halfway through a six-week lockdown, despite case numbers continuing to skyrocket.

Earlier on Wednesday, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said he had urged the Ministry of Health to "work faster" at increasing community testing rates following a recent plummet. Community testing is imperative to ensuring the SARS-CoV-2 strain of coronavirus - responsible for the COVID-19 disease - hasn't resurfaced locally among New Zealanders.

Just eight tests were completed in the community on Sunday, with 681 tests carried out overall. Although the Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, has repeatedly explained that it's normal for testing rates to drop off over the weekends and school holidays, Sunday's figures were considerably below Hipkins' aim for 4000 tests per day on average.

"We've got to get those numbers back up again and that's exactly what the health system is working on," he told The AM Show. "I want them to work faster on that."

Hipkins said there were no "good excuses" for the low numbers.