New Zealand has five new cases of Covid-19 bringing the total up to 1445 as Northland is preparing to increase community testing.
At today's Covid-19 briefing, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of Health, said the five new cases were made up of two confirmed and three probable patients.
All new infections are linked to existing cases. There are no new Northland cases, keeping the number of confirmed and probable cases in the region at 27.
One patient remains in a stable condition at Whangārei Hospital. Twelve people are self-isolating in the community, and 14 have now recovered.
Bloomfield reported the death of one woman in her 70s from St Margaret's Hospital and Rest Home in Te Atutu who had underlying health conditions. The total number of deaths nationally is now 13.
Twelve people are in hospital – two fewer than yesterday – including three in ICUs. None of the patients is in critical condition.
Bloomfield New Zealand now had 1006 recovered cases, and calls to Healthline and other services have plummeted.
Meanwhile, Northland District Health Board is increasing its Covid-19 testing across the region in partnership with Māori health providers.
The nine providers will provide mobile services reaching into the smaller communities they currently visit.
"The providers have well-established relationships with their communities and whānau, experienced staff and established mobile health services," Dr Catherine Jackson, NDHB's Medical Officer of Health, said.
"The initial plan is for the mobile services to go to the smaller communities they currently visit offering a mobile clinic to ensure that whānau Māori have strengthened access to Covid-19 testing and influenza vaccination."
Māori were a priority in the DHB's pandemic response.
"Although testing rates for Māori are higher than for non-Māori across all parts of Te Tai Tokerau, there are still some areas where access is harder due to the remote location," Jackson said.
As at 9am today, 3073 Northlanders have been tested of which 46 per cent identified as Māori.
"Additional concerns have been raised by Māori providers, particularly for kaumātua and kuia who are reluctant to come out of their bubbles and communities because they are worried about putting themselves at risk."
The existing seven community based testing centres in Kaitaia, Kerikeri, Kaikohe, Kawakawa, Rawene, Dargaville and Whangārei remain open seven days a week.
For more information about community based testing centres, click here.
At today's update, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins also gave indication about how schools and early childhood facilities would operate under alert level 3 next week.
He said most children would be expected to continue with distance learning and schools would be open only for students up to year 10 who needed to be there.
"This is not a normal situation, and we will need to be doing things differently. Distance learning is going to be with us for some time – at least three weeks."."
Residential and special schools will not open early on in level 3.
Cleaners and other staff are allowed back from tomorrow to tend to the properties before the teacher only day on April 28.
He said because the Director-General of Health was confident that there was no undetected community transmission, the chances of the virus coming through the gate of a school was small.