9 cases of COVID-19 in 2 days in managed isolation
22/01/2021 1:46:43 p.m.

Friday 22 January 2021

There are 9 cases of COVID-19 in managed isolation to report in New Zealand since our last media statement on Wednesday.
There are no new cases in the community.

















Twelve previously reported cases have now recovered. The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 73. Our total number of confirmed cases is 1,920.
The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,480,691.
On Thursday, 4,305 tests were processed. The seven-day rolling average up to yesterday is 3,373 tests processed.
One year since first COVID-19 PCR test
It has been one year since the first COVID-19 PCR test was carried out in New Zealand.

The first test, on 22 January 2020, was processed by ESR. Almost 1.5 million tests have been carried out in the community and at the border since that time.

Testing is a key component of our elimination strategy as it enables us to quickly identify COVID-19 cases. The rapid development of testing capability throughout New Zealand is one of the success stories underpinning the response and the sector now has surge capability to handle testing up to 25,000 samples per day.

The PCR test using a nasopharyngeal swab is considered the gold standard for COVID testing as it detects the virus the most effectively.

As announced by the Minister for COVID-19 Response earlier today, border workers in quarantine facilities will now be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly nasopharyngeal swab. The nasopharyngeal PCR test will continue to be used in the community for people who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
Cook Islands travel
This week the first passengers arrived in Auckland from Rarotonga as part of a one-way travel arrangement with the Cook Islands.

Passengers will only be eligible for the quarantine-free travel if they haven’t been outside the Cook Islands in the past 14 days or they haven’t had contact with a confirmed case in the past 14 days, among other requirements.

As always, the health and safety of New Zealanders and those arriving from the Cook Islands remains a priority, which means quarantine-free travellers will be kept separate from other travellers in airports and there will be additional screening of these passengers as soon as they arrive.

Work continues on the possibility of quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to the Cook Islands.

It’s important for passengers not to travel if they’re feeling ill or showing any symptoms and to remember to scan QR codes wherever they go by using the NZ COVID Tracer App, or keep a paper record if they don’t have the app.

NZ COVID Tracer now has 2,456,488 registered users.
Poster scans have reached 157,181,754 and users have created 6,347,771 manual diary entries.
The Ministry’s next update is planned for 1pm on Sunday 24 January.

Media contact
Andrea Birtwistle
021 707 503