There are no new Covid community cases as Auckland basks in level 1 freedoms.
The Ministry of Health says that all contacts connected to the Valentine’s Day outbreak have been tested and returned negative results.
Meanwhile, there is one new case in managed isolation – a passenger who returned from India through the United Arab Emirates on March 7.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern earlier revealed there had been no new community cases overnight – prompting the decision to drop Auckland’s alert level to 1.
In further good news as the city prepares to enjoy the weekend freedoms, wastewater sites are also showing no signs of the virus, with the exception of the South Western Interceptor in Auckland.
That site was near the Auckland quarantine facility, so health officials said they expected to see positive results there as they had done over the last month.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says vaccination efforts should focus on the nation’s biggest city.
It had been the region most affected by virus and subsequent lockdowns and ran the greatest risk of enduring future outbreaks due to Covid’s rampant spread overseas and its ability to hitch a ride into the country with returning Kiwis.
“With Aucklanders most often the ones forced to live under the restrictions of level 2 and 3, it makes sense for Aucklanders to get vaccinated after sections of the community most at risk and before the general rollout of the vaccine across the country.
He said Auckland had more managed isolation and quarantine facilities than the rest of the country combined — nine times as many as Wellington and three times as many as Christchurch.
“Auckland is the region most susceptible to another outbreak. We don’t want to face the health risks of a further incursion,” he said.
The total number of active cases in New Zealand now sits at 86. The country’s total number of confirmed cases was 2061. The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date was more than 1.8m
On Thursday, 6629 tests were processed. The seven-day rolling average up to yesterday was 6486 tests processed per day.
Since January 1, there have been 37 historical cases, out of a total of 250 cases.
Earlier this week, the Government announced more details about the vaccine rollout, with people at higher risk if they catch Covid-19 being the next in line behind border and healthcare workers.
Older people with relevant health conditions living in South Auckland, those in aged residential care homes or living in a whānau care setting would be offered the vaccine next.
Then, from May, Kiwis aged over 70, then those aged over 65 years old would have the option to take the jab before the vaccine is offered to the remaining population in July.
So far about 18,000 frontline border workers and their families had received their first of two jabs and the first Kiwis would become fully inoculated with two doses next week.
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