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Source: Covid-19 New Zealand Government Announcements

Update from the Ministry of Health

Today we are reporting 10,470 community cases, 773 current hospitalisations, and 16 deaths.

The 7-day rolling average of community case numbers today is 9,994.

Today we are sadly reporting the deaths of 16 people with COVID-19. All these deaths occurred in the past 11 days.

The Ministry of Health and Te Whatu Ora – Health NZ are closely monitoring the continued increase in COVID-19 positive cases and hospitalisations as part of our ongoing review and updating of the response to the current community outbreak.

The increase in cases and hospitalisations emphasises the importance of everybody doing the basics well to help prevent infection and serious illness. In particular, people should stay home if they are unwell, take a rapid antigen test (RAT) and upload the result on My Covid Record, and isolate if positive or while still symptomatic.

If you’re heading out to pick up free RATs and masks, please check the Healthpoint website to find your nearest participating pharmacy as not all pharmacies are providing this service. People can also continue to request free COVID-19 RATs kits online.

It is important to ensure you are up to date with all vaccinations, including COVID-19 vaccinations. Many are now eligible for a second booster dose, and flu vaccinations, which are free for many people.

More about COVID-19 vaccine boosters | Ministry of Health (external link)

More about flu vaccines | Ministry of Health (external link)

Mask up for added protection

Wearing a mask remains one of the best measures to reduce transmission of infectious respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.

The more layers of protection people put in place — such as mask wearing, vaccinations, and staying home when sick — the more they reduce the risk of spreading respiratory viruses.

Even if you’re fully vaccinated, or have had COVID-19, continuing to wear a face mask is important in keeping you, your whanau and your community safe.

As a general rule, the Ministry urges people to wear a mask in public indoor settings outside the home and in poorly ventilated spaces, or when it is hard to physically distance from other people.

You must wear a mask on public transport and at transport hubs like airports and bus stations, inside public venues like museums and libraries, when visiting a health care service, and inside retail businesses like supermarkets and shopping malls.

Masking up is particularly important when around more vulnerable members of the community, especially those who are older, those in aged residential care and healthcare settings where appropriate.

Wider availability of antiviral treatments

From Monday 18 July 2022, the access criteria for three antiviral treatments for COVID-19 will be widened to include a wider group of people at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 infection. This includes all people aged 75 years and over and those who have been admitted previously to an Intensive Care Unit directly as a result of COVID-19.

Nirmatrelvir with ritonavir (branded as Paxlovid), molnupiravir (branded as Lagevrio) and remdesivir, an infusion treatment (branded as Veklury) are antivirals used in the community and hospitals to treat people with early COVID-19 at risk of severe illness.

These antivirals reduce the risk of severe illness, which helps takes pressure off our health system.

Among other things, this means GPs will be able to provide “back pocket” prescriptions so that people at risk of acute respiratory illnesses can have their prescription ready should they test positive and can then start taking the medicine promptly.

Read the full update on today’s cases | Ministry of Health (external link)