Hawke's Bay's t Covid-19 cases remains at 29, after a case-free day for the first time in nearly a week.

No new cases were announced for the region today, after two days in a row of five new cases.

One probable and four confirmed cases of the viral illness were announced yesterday, bringing the region's total to 29.

Probable cases are close contacts of a previously confirmed case that meets the clinical criteria of having Covid-19.


A cluster related to the docking of Ruby Princess in Napier, which includes people who caught it in Hawke's Bay but are being treated elsewhere in NZ, has increased by three and now sits at 16.

Medical officer of health Nick Jones said three of Saturday's confirmed cases were linked to overseas travel.

A fourth confirmed case had close contact with another confirmed case during domestic travel.

All four people were in self-isolation at home and had followed all the appropriate precautions, he said. Their ages ranged from 15 to 39.

Jones said the probable case was a resident at Gladys Mary Care Home, Napier.

The rest home now had three confirmed cases and three probable cases.

On Friday the Ministry of Health said cases linked to the Ruby Princess made it one of 10 "clusters" nationwide. Saturday's probable case was also linked to the Ruby Princess.

Jones said that although today's news was pleasing, he urged everyone to continue to stay in their home-based bubbles to give the region the best chance of ensuring that the virus was contained.


He said complacency was the biggest risk. "I do believe we will see more cases within Hawke's Bay as we continue to test, however today we have had some very good news."

Jones is encouraging anyone with symptoms to call their GP or Healthline for a referral to a community testing stations.

"We need to find every case across our region, so that when this period of isolation is over, we can be confident that there are no residual cases within our community that will ignite spread."

Jones said the Ministry of Health had changed the case definition for testing, to allow for more tests to be completed. "The new definition removes the requirement for having been overseas or in contact with a confirmed case.

"I strongly encourage people who develop a cold or flu-like illness and a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, a runny nose or loss of smell, regardless of whether or not they have a temperature, to call their GP or Healthline to be referred to one of our community testing stations.

"We have the testing capacity, and New Zealand's laboratories have the capacity to process the tests, so please take advantage of this."


Jones said before the ship was cleared to disembark in Napier, Covid-19 was ruled out on unwell passengers.

"The ship declared it had several passengers unwell with Influenza A (confirmed through the ship's onboard testing), but one passenger did not return an Influenza A result," Jones said.

"Therefore, the ship's master was advised that if Covid-19 could not be excluded, the vessel would not be granted clearance to disembark in Napier.

"At the request of the ship's doctor, the medical officer of health arranged for immediate Covid-19 testing to be undertaken by public health officials while the ship was still in Wellington, and all returned negative results."

Jones said the medical officer of health was also advised by Government officials the new border closure introduced at that time did not apply to vessels already within New Zealand waters.

"The ship was therefore cleared for disembarkation in Napier, but unwell passengers were to remain on board the vessel," he said.

Anyone with these symptoms are advised to call their GP or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 to be assessed. People need an appointment via their GP or Healthline to be swabbed at a Community-Based Assessment Centre.

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