As Auckland prepares to move to Covid-19 Alert Level 1 at 11.59pm on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health is reporting there are now no active community cases of Covid in New Zealand.
This follows the last six community cases now being officially designated as recovered. The last new community case had been reported on September 25.
Imported cases are continuing though. And there were three new cases reported on Wednesday, two coming from Ethiopia and one from Dubai. All were detected in isolation.
This leaves 37 active Covid cases in the country - all of them now imported ones.
Health Minister Chris Hipkins said the recovery of the last of the community cases was "a big milestone".
"New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems that have been developed and strengthened since our first wave of Covid-19 have worked very effectively to chase down the virus, isolate it, and eliminate it.
“It’s really good news, but as always we cannot sit back. Constant vigilance and team work, with everyone playing their part to ensure we stay on top of the virus, needs to be our new normal for some time to come."
Since August 11, there have been 186 community cases of Covid-19 reported - 179 people linked to the Auckland August cluster, six people linked to the Christchurch returnees group, and a worker from the managed isolation facility at the Rydges.
Hipkins said it was expected that the Auckland August cluster will officially ‘close’ in four weeks – which is when there have been no new cases for two incubation periods from when all cases are considered recovered.
This was the release issued by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday:
There are three new cases of COVID-19 to report from managed isolation in New Zealand today. There are no new cases in the community.
The first two cases reported today arrived from Ethiopia via Dubai on September 23. They have been in managed isolation at the Ibis in Hamilton and tested positive at routine testing around day 12 of their stay.
The third case reported today arrived from Dubai on September 29. They have been staying in managed isolation at the Four Points Hotel and have been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility upon returning a positive test result.
Our total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is 1,505, which is the number we report to the World Health Organization.
Nine previously reported cases are now considered to have recovered, which include the six remaining active cases from the recent community outbreak.
Our total number of active cases is now 37 - all imported cases. There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining.
The Auckland August cluster will officially close when there have been no new cases for two incubation periods from when all cases complete isolation.
One person remains on a ward in Middlemore hospital with COVID-19 today.
Yesterday our laboratories processed 5,334 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 990,973.
NZ COVID Tracer
There are now 2,298,978 users registered on NZ COVID Tracer.
The app has recorded a total of 85,869,739 poster scans, and users have created 3,647,904 manual diary entries.
NZ COVID Tracer is the fastest and easiest way to keep a detailed record of where you have been and who you have seen.
Continuing to use the app is particularly important as we move down alert levels, where restrictions on going out or gatherings lift.
Being able to trace your contacts if you have been exposed to COVID-19 is critical to being able to quickly isolate any future cases that may emerge, and stop the virus spreading in the community.