ZB

6635 cases, six deaths today as some schools reintroduce mask wearing

Author
Ben Leahy, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 21 May 2022, 1:07pm
Photo / NZ Herald
Photo / NZ Herald

6635 cases, six deaths today as some schools reintroduce mask wearing

Author
Ben Leahy, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sat, 21 May 2022, 1:07pm

There are 6635 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today.

The Ministry of Health reported a further six Covid-related deaths.

There are 400 people in hospital with the virus, including 12 in intensive care.

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers is 7972 – last Saturday it was 7595.

The six deaths reported today take the total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 to 1045, and the seven-day rolling average of reported deaths to 13.

The deaths included two people in the Auckland region and one each in Northland, Taranaki, Canterbury and the Southern regions.

One of those who died was in their 60s, two were in their 70s, two were in their 80s and one was over 90.

Two were women and four were men.

The news comes as two Auckland schools revert to compulsory mask-wearing in classrooms, one after several students and staff involved with a school production tested positive.

Masks must now be worn in class at Takapuna Grammar from Monday and will be returned to use in Pt Chevalier School's Year 4 to 6 classrooms - with Years 1 to 3 also encouraged to mask up.

Earlier, a further 7800 Covid community cases were reported yesterday along with 17 Covid-related deaths.

Those who died included one person aged in their 50s, one in their 60s, four in their 70s, five in their 80s and six over 90.

Thirteen were women and four were men.

It took the total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 to 1039. The seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is 14.

There were also 401 people in hospital with the virus, including 14 in intensive care.

There are currently 56,200 active community cases in New Zealand.

It brought the seven-day rolling average of community case numbers to 8032, while last Friday it was 7548.

Meanwhile, Takapuna Grammar principal Mary Nixon told parents in a newsletter yesterday it'll be compulsory for students and staff to wear masks while in class, indoors and on buses.

"There is no apparent spread of Covid in classes or while at school but there are several staff and students involved in the school production Mamma Mia who have tested positive for Covid," she said.

"The total of staff and students currently testing positive for Covid is 6.9 per cent and household contacts is 3.9 per cent."

Point Chevalier School principal Stephen Lethbridge said a decision to bring back compulsory mask-wearing in class for all Year 4 to 6 students had been taken at his school after noticing increasing cases.

"We think it is prudent that we make sure we keep staff and kids as safe as possible," Lethbridge said.

"We've noticed that we've got significantly more cases around the school and community this week than we did last week and the week before and that's in line with growing cases across the Auckland region."

Lethbridge believed other schools had already taken or were in the process of taking a similar approach.

Schools knew their communities best, the Ministry of Education said in response to the schools' decision.