Covid-19 traffic light setting remains amber, reinfection rules changed

Covid-19 Response Minister Ayesha Verrall confirmed that the country will remain at the orange light.

The government also announced on Thursday that advice for Covid reinfection had changed, with people showing symptoms more than 29 days after a previous infection advised to isolate and test.

The previous window was 90 days. People with symptoms after 29 days who test positive will be required to self-isolate for seven days

Verrall also announced that there will be 50 children’s masks made available for each student in grades 4 through 7 by the end of the year. This is in addition to a previously announced policy of free flu shots for children aged 3-12.

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“The Ministry of Education has already secured a supply of 10 million special masks for children and intends to have them ready for distribution at the start of the third quarter,” said Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti. .

“This means there will be 50 child-sized masks provided for every child in grades 4-7 in schools and Kura nationwide by the end of 2022,” she said.

The government will also provide additional funding to schools to help with rising energy costs to cover the cost of running ventilation and heating units in classrooms during the winter period.

Dr Ayesha Verrall, the new Covid-19 response minister.

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Dr Ayesha Verrall, the new Covid-19 response minister.

The announcement was the result of a planned review of the parameters of the Covid framework, and was Verrall’s first since taking office as government minister responsible for the Covid-19 response.

“Going back to red is not necessary at this time. We can continue to manage the virus at orange, but we are putting in place a series of additional measures to help manage a recent increase in cases,” Verrall said.

“Yesterday the seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases was 5,808 and there were 395 people in hospital and 8 in intensive care. By comparison, when we came out of the red in April, the rolling average of cases was nearly 10,000 a day and there were more than 500 people in hospital, including 28 in intensive care.

“However, cases are increasing and our healthcare system is under pressure, so we are putting in place a range of additional measures to help manage the virus over the coming winter months.

It comes as the seven-day rolling average of Covid-19 cases has risen by nearly 1,000 over the past week. On Thursday, the Health Ministry reported 7,423 new community cases and 411 hospitalizations.

There are three traffic light settings, red, amber and green. New Zealand has been in the orange setting since April. Last week the government revealed it had a five-scenario framework for dealing with any new variant of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

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