Eight Covid-19 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the Bay of Plenty District Health Board to date.

There are another two "probable" cases in the DHB, according to this morning's latest tallies.

Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management Sarah Stuart-Black announced the latest figures at a press conference this afternoon, showing nationally there were 416 confirmed and 35 probable cases of the virus in New Zealand so far, as of 9am this morning.

Fifty of these people have recovered.


A breakdown of the cases per District Health Board today shows the number of cases [including probable cases] in the Bay of Plenty DHB has risen from six, as of 9am yesterday, to 10 at 9am today.

None were in hospital at that time.

The Bay of Plenty DHB cases include one male in his 70s who had been in Colorado.

He arrived in New Zealand via flight NZ7 on March 23.

Another of the confirmed Bay of Plenty DHB cases is a man in his 30s who had been in Los Angeles.

He arrived in New Zealand on March 17.

The Bay of Plenty DHB cases also include a female in her 20s who had been in Dubai and landed here on March 23.

A female in her 60s is also among the Bay of Plenty DHB cases.


She arrived in New Zealand from Sydney on flight NZ102 on March 17.

Since the level 4 lockdown began, "Whakatāne and Tauranga hospitals are a lot quieter", Bay of Plenty District Health Board incident controller Bronwyn Anstis told the Bay of Plenty Times last night.

"However staff are very busy preparing for an anticipated increase in activity relating to Covid-19 response."

She said, "Tauranga Hospital is currently about 50 per cent occupied since the country moved to level 4 at midnight on Wednesday."

People had not been coming in unnecessarily she said: "Overall, people are being very respectful and following the rules; they understand the rules and the reasons they are in place."

"Both emergency departments have been significantly quieter since lockdown. In Tauranga, there were 78 people on Thursday, compared to a normal daily average of around 150 people.

"It is important that if you have a genuine, serious medical event or accident that you still come to the Emergency Department."

The Bay of Plenty District Health Board has adopted a "no-visitors policy, with few notable exceptions".

These are: "A nominated person who is supporting a terminal patient through end-of-life-care, a parent/guardian who is supporting a sick child, and labouring women are allowed a support person/birthing partner".

She said people had been not been ringing the hospital, they had been "ringing Healthline or their GP first and if appropriate heading to the drive-through Community-Based Assessment Centres at the Whakatāne War Memorial Hall and the Tauranga Racecourse" as instructed.

The general mood of the hospitals and staff was that they were in good stead.

"Like all DHBs we have a pandemic plan. Staff at both Whakatāne Hospital and Tauranga Hospital have spent weeks preparing a detailed Covid-19 plan to care for our community and staff. An Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has been activated in Tauranga, leading the hospitals' COVID-19 response ...

"Staff are doing an amazing job and working very hard to keep the community and staff safe. We have a close-knit professional team and are working together, supporting each other and our patients, just like we did responding to the Whakaari/White Island tragedy. We are ready to do the same again as the situation unfolds."

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website