No new cases of COVID-19 - Add masks to your emergency kit Ministry of Health says
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Posted August 06, 2020
Media Release: Ministry of Health
There are no new cases of COVID-19 to report in New Zealand today.It has been 97 days since the last case of COVID-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source.
One previously reported case is now considered to have recovered, so there are now 23 active cases in managed isolation facilities, and none of those people are receiving hospital-level care.
The number of confirmed cases remains at 1,219.
Yesterday, laboratories processed 5,020 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 482,929. There were 290 swabs taken in managed isolation and quarantine facilities yesterday.
The Ministry of Health says, “This rise in testing numbers is really encouraging and we are grateful to everyone that has come forward to be tested – please continue to seek advice on getting a test if you have cold or flu-like symptoms. Thank you also to the many people including health professionals involved in taking swabs, processing them, and organising testing facilities.”
The pop-up testing centres have proved to be extremely well used.
There were 1,076 swabs taken in Queenstown and all but seven have now been processed and all those have returned a negative result.
There will be pop-up centres in other parts of the country as part of ongoing community testing.
Southern DHB is operating a pop-up in Milford township today until 3pm.
Four Auckland Community Testing Centres were set up last week in Northcote, Henderson, Grafton and Wiri as part of a new model for community testing. They are supported by four new community mobile testing units. An additional pop-up unit will be stood up in South Auckland by the weekend – this will be resourced by one of the new mobile testing teams.
There will be an additional centre in Christchurch on Saturday.
Mid Central will establish two testing stations in Palmerston North on Friday – one in the carpark of New World Pioneer and the other at an event at the Pasifika Community Centre at Bill Brown Park.
And Taranaki is holding a pop-up testing clinic in central New Plymouth on Friday from 1-3pm in the New World carpark for members of the public to get swabbed.
The Ministry of Health has updated its advice on the use of masks by the public as part of New Zealand’s ongoing response to COVID-19.
As part of our collective preparedness for a possible further outbreak of COVID-19, the Ministry is recommending households add masks to their earthquake emergency kits.
It is not necessary for the public to wear masks at Alert Level 1, because there is no evidence of community transmission in New Zealand.
Masks will be most useful when COVID-19 is present in our community and people are in situations where they are in close proximity to each other.
They are particularly useful in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained. A mask helps stop droplets spreading when someone speaks, laughs, coughs, or sneezes, including someone who has COVID-19 but feels well or has no obvious symptoms.
Masks are just one component of the strategy – they complement the public health measures we have all become familiar with this year, according to the Ministry of Health:
- Good hand hygiene
- Physical distancing
- Staying home when sick
- Self/managed isolation and quarantine
- Contact tracing
For the general public these do not need to be medical-grade masks – they could be reusable, fabric masks, or single use masks.
People at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are recommended to wear a medical-grade mask to help prevent infection.