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COVID-19 Timeline

Tracking key events in NZ and international milestones

2019 ⇒

December 2019

  • 1 December Cases of unknown pneumonia surface in Wuhan, China
  • 31 December (International) New virus reported to World Health Organisation

2020 ⇒

January 2020

  • 15 January (International) First case reported outside of China (Thailand)
  • 24 January (International) Cases reported in Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan,  Hong Kong, Macau, Canada, France, and the United         States                                                                                                                                                                                                                (International) Virus confirmed to be transmissible
  • 25 January (International) First three cases confirmed in Australia
  • 28 January Ministry of Health sets up National Health Coordination Centre (NHCC)
  • 30 January Infectious & Notifiable Diseases Order issued, requiring health practitioners to report any suspected cases

February 2020

 

  • 3 February       Government announces that foreign travellers who left from China would be denied entry to New Zealand, with only New Zealand citizens and permanent residents and their family being allowed to enter. Foreigners who left China and spent at least 14 days in another country are permitted to enter New Zealand.
  • 7 February       Ministry of Health set up a dedicated Healthline freephone number  for COVID-19-related calls.
  • 8 February       2 New Zealanders aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess in Japan are confirmed to have the virus
  • 11 February     (International) WHO names the new disease COVID-19, short for coronavirus disease 2019                                                        (International) Total deaths exceed that of the SARS outbreak of 2002-2004
  • 17 February     (International) First person outside of Asia dies (Chinese tourist in France)
  • 24 February     Ban on foreign travellers who left from China extended by eight days
  • 28 February     First confirmed case in New Zealand                                                                                                                                              Government extends travel restrictions to include travellers from Iran

 

  • 1 Case
  • 0 Deaths

 

March 2020

  • 2 March           Government announces any person who has visited northern Italy or South Korea must self-isolate for 14 days
  • 4-7 March        Second, third, fourth, and fifth cases confirmed (daily increases from there), including first person-to-person transmission in New Zealand
  • 10 March         (International) Italy goes on national lockdown
  • 11 March         (International) WHO declares an official global pandemic
  • 12 March         (International) United States suspends travel from Europe
  • 14 March         New Zealand starts announcing new cases daily, and that anyone arriving in the country must self-isolate for 14 days (save those from the Pacific)
  • 16 March         Prime Minister announces that any tourists that don’t self-isolate for 14 days will be deported                                                                  Air New Zealand halts share trading                                                                                                                                                                  Reserve Bank announces emergency cut of the Official Cash rate
  • 17 March         New Zealand Government announces $12.1 billion economic assistance package, including a $500 million boost for health, $8.7 billion in support for businesses and jobs, and $2.8 billion for income support.
  • 18 March         20 confirmed cases
  • 19 March         28 confirmed cases                                                                                                                                                                                      All indoor gatherings of more than 100 people are cancelled                                                                                                                            New Zealand Government closes the borders to everyone but citizens and permanent residents (first time in history)
  • 20 March         39 confirmed cases
  • 21 March         52 confirmed cases                                                                                                                                                                                   Prime Minister announces the new alert level system and that the country was moving to level 2
  • 22 March         66 confirmed cases
  • 23 March         102 confirmed cases (including first two cases of community transmission)                                                                                             Prime Minister announced country would, effective immediately (1.40pm) enter alert level 3, and that after Wednesday the          country would go into alert level 4 for at a minimum 4 weeks
  • 24 March         155 confirmed cases
  • 25 March         205 confirmed and probable cases                                                                                                                                              National State of Emergency declared at 12.21pm in Parliament                                                                                                                                       Country entered alert level 4 at 11.59pm
  • 29 March         First NZ coronavirus-related death reported

 

  • 205 Cases
  • 23 777 Tests
  • 1 Death

 

 

  • 16 Clusters

 

April 2020

  • 2-5 April          NZ peak level of new cases reached (89)
  • 3 April             (International) One million cases recorded worldwide                                                                                                                  Finance Minister announces changes to the Companies Act to help struggling businesses
  • 5 April             Ethnicity statistics are released on the cases
  • 6 April             (International) UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hospitalised
  • 7 April             First time the number of active cases dropped (recoveries outnumbered new cases)
  • 9 April             Compulsory 2 week quarantine for New Zealanders arriving the country announced, to commence by end of the day
  • 15 April           (International) Two million cases recorded worldwide
  • 13-19 April      Death toll rose to 12
  • 18 April           (International) WHO releases data on cases by age and sex
  • 20 April           Prime Minister announced that the country would drop down to alert level 3 at 11.59pm on 27 April, and that the plan was to remain at level 3 for a minimum of 2 weeks, with a decision made on 11 May on whether to drop to level 2
  • 27 April           (International) Global death toll surpasses 200,000 and cases are expected to soon break 3 million

                                    Country moves to alert level 3 at 11.59pm, 19 deaths.

 

  • 205 Cases
  •  139 898 Tests
  • 19 Deaths

 

May 2020

  • 4 May              First day in New Zealand where the reported new cases were 0 (this was repeated the follow day, May 5th)
  • 9 May              (International) Globally, the number of cases passes 4 million, with a death toll of 282,000. New Zealand’s death toll is at 21.
  • 11 May            The Prime Minister announces that a staggered move into Alert Level 2 will occur from 14 May
  • 14 May            New Zealand enters Alert Level 2 with no new cases (the same as on May 12 & 13) and deaths remaining at 21.                           $50 billion recovery package is announced as part of Budget 2020.
  • 15 May            (International) more than 4.75 million cases worldwide, more than 316,000 deaths, and more than 1.75 million have recovered.
  • 17 May            One new case of COVID-19 is reported in New Zealand, 45 active cases, with 1433 people having recovered and 21 deaths

  • 22 May            One new case of COVID-19 is reported in New Zealand
  • 24 May            New Zealand’s death toll rises to 22.
  • 29 May            7 days in a row with no new cases in New Zealand, and one active case remaining

 

  • 1504 cases
  • 1503 recovered
  • 294 848 tests
  • 22 deaths

 

June 2020

  • 3 June              12 days in a row with no new cases in New Zealand, one active case remaining

Globally, nearly 6 & a half million recorded cases has been reached, with nearly 400 thousand deaths associated with COVID-19

  • 8 June              The one active case in New Zealand is announced as having recovered, and with no new cases for 17 days, New Zealand is declared COVID-19 free.

The Prime Minister announces that Alert Level 1 (normalcy, but with closed international borders and contact tracing) will begin at midnight.

  • 9 June              Alert Level 1 begins in New Zealand.
  • 16 June            After 24 days with zero new cases, Health Minister David Clark suspends compassionate exemptions for quarantined travellers, after two women who had been granted such to leave quarantine early (to attend a funeral) test positive. In days following, further information about the two women emerges, leading the Prime Minister to describe the release as a “failure of the system”
  • 22 June            Total number of active cases is nine, all in managed isolation after arriving in the country. Prime Minister announces that in order to leave managed isolation, people would need to test negative. Ban on cruise ships extended beyond 30 June.
  • 24 June            Announcement made that 51 of the 55 people granted early leave on compassionate grounds from managed isolation had not been tested at the time for COVID-19.
  • 27 June            Announcement made
  • 29 June            Total cases in New Zealand reaches 22, all returnees to New Zealand in managed isolation. Face-masks become mandatory for returnees in managed isolation.
  •                         Globally, the total number of cases tops 10 million, with more than 500,000 deaths (1 million new cases with recorded in the 6 days prior to 29 June)
  • 30 June            Victorian Government in Australia re-established local lockdowns across 10 different postcodes in Melbourne after a cluster of new cases emerges.

July 2020

  • 2 July               Health Minister David Clark resigns from his portfolio, following criticism of his leadership and actions (Chris Hipkins takes over as interim Health Minister, and Megan Woods takes over responsibility for Border Management)
  • 4 July               An additional 2 postcodes and 9 public housing towers are added to the Melbourne lockdown
  • 6 July               127 new cases reported in Melbourne. Victorian and NSW governments announce interstate border will close from 8 July.
  • 7 July               NZ Government asks Air NZ and Singapore Airlines to manage international bookings to ensure NZ managed isolation facilities are not overwhelmed. Air NZ announces over 5 thousand people were booked to travel back to NZ in the following three weeks
  • 191 new cases reported in Melbourne, the Victorian Premiere announces that the entirety of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire would re-enter lockdown for a minimum of 6 weeks from 9 July.
  • 12 July             25 active cases in New Zealand, all in managed isolation, no community transmission cases.
  • Globally almost 13 million cases have been confirmed, with nearly 570,000 deaths. The US has over 3 million cases, with more than 135,000 deaths, and is the most affected country on Earth. Then follows Brazil, India, Russia, Peru, Chile, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.
  • 15 July             NZ Prime Minister releases government’s COVID-19 response framework in case of a community-transmission outbreak in NZ, involving regional and localised lockdowns, based on similar plans in Victoria, NSW, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea.
  • 19 July             Announcement that face-coverings are to be mandatory in Melbourne from July 22
  • 23 July             403 new cases in 24 hours announced in Victoria, with a total of 7,125 active cases in the state
  • 29 July             NZ announcement made that some travellers entering New Zealand would have to pay for their 14-day managed isolation. Those impacted would be those who left NZ after the rules came into effect, those who intend to stay in NZ for less than 90 days, and most temporary visa holders (with some exceptions). Most New Zealanders returning home would remain exempt however.
  • 30 July             723 new cases in 24 hours announced in Victoria, with a total of 9,998 active cases in the state

August 2020

  • 2 August          A state of disaster was declared in Victoria, including a curfew in Melbourne from 8pm to 5am. Victoria was to institute regional stage 3 restrictions, with Melbourne at stage 4.
  • 4 August          The number of active cases in New Zealand is 22 (all in managed isolation, arrivals from overseas)
  • 5 August          725 new cases in 24 hours announced in Victoria, with a total of 13,035 active cases in the state

Data released from StatsNZ showed that in the June quarter labour market statistics for NZ, of the 11,000 people who were no longer   in paid employment (employment fell 0.4%) 10,000 were women (91%).

  • 9 August          New Zealand went 100 days with no community spread of COVID19 (in other word, all cases in New Zealand are in managed isolation from border entries)
  • 11 August        Four cases of community transmission are discovered in Auckland, all from the same family with no link to overseas travel or managed-isolation/quarantine facilities

Prime Minister announces that as at midday on Wednesday the 12th of August the entire Auckland region would be moving back to Alert Level 3 until midnight Friday the 14th, and the rest of the country would move back to Alert Level 2. This is the first deployment of a regional lockdown strategy.

  • 12 August        At midday the Auckland region goes back to Alert Level 3 lockdown, with the rest of the country at level 2.

Police set up nine checkpoints in and out of the Auckland region to monitor who is entering and leaving the city

  • 13 August        13 new confirmed cases in New Zealand, 1 in managed isolation from an arrival from overseas, and 12 related to the family cluster announced on 11 August. All in Auckland.

15 testing centres are opened across Auckland, and testing centres have opened in Rotorua and Taupo (due to the family having travelled there on holiday).

  • 14 August        13 new cases announced, of which 12 are confirmed, and 1 is probable. 2 of the new cases are in Tokoroa, but related to the Auckland cluster.

The Prime Minister announces that the current Alert Level arrangement (Level 3 in Auckland, Level 2 for the rest of the country) will remain  in place for another 12 days till 11.59pm on Wednesday the 26th of August, but that it will be reviewed on the 21st of August.

The Wage Subsidy Scheme will be extended to include this new period of lockdown at Level 3 (will be available to the whole country due to Auckland’s economic effect on the rest of the country), as will be the COVID Leave Scheme to assist those required to be in isolation as a result of testing.

  • 15 August        7 new cases reported, all confirmed, all from the new cluster, bringing the total number of active cases to 56

In Victoria, Australia, there are 303 new cases overnight, bringing the total cumulative cases (active and not) for the state to 16,517 (and for the country 23,035, making Victoria 72% of all cases in Australia)

  • 16 August        13 new cases in New Zealand, all confirmed, 12 from the new cluster and one in managed isolation at the border. The total active cases is 69.

(International) Worldwide there has officially been over 21 and a half million confirmed cases, over 7 million current active cases, and nearly 775,000 deaths.

  • 17 August        The Prime Minister delays the New Zealand national election from September 19th to October 17th due to the level 3 lockdown in Auckland to allow extra time for campaigning, under urging from the opposition parties and New Zealand First.

9 new confirmed cases in New Zealand, all from the community cluster, total active cases are 78.

  • 18 August        13 new cases reported in New Zealand, wherein 2 cases of community transmission that had previously not been associated with the cluster, one was connected via genomic testing, and another was separately linked to a managed isolation hotel in Auckland.
  • 19 August        Became compulsory for all businesses to display official government NZ COVID tracer QR codes at their doors.
  • 24 August        NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces that the regional Alert Level 3 lockdown for Auckland would be extended to 11.59pm on Sunday the 30th of August 2020. Further, once at Alert Level 2 on Monday the 31st of August, Auckland would have a limit of 10 people for gatherings (50 for tangis and funerals)
  • 26 August        It is announced, by Health Minister Chris Hipkins, that from 11.59pm on Thursday the 3rd of September, it would be compulsory for all public transport providers (including ride-share vehicles) to provide official government NZ COVID tracer QR codes for passengers.
  • 27 August        Seven new cases confirmed (six from the known South Auckland cluster, one in managed isolation at the border), bringing active cases to 126.
  • 30 August        Prime Minister Ardern confirmed that Auckland would enter into what she was coining ‘Alert Level 2.5’ at 11.59pm that night, ending the regional lockdown, with the rest of the country remaining at Alert level 2.

The PM apologised for incorrect messaging on the government ‘United against COVID-19’ Facebook page which called on all people living in South or West Auckland to get tested (only symptomatic people and those in higher risk spaces or occupations

  • 31 August        Nine new confirmed cases reported and 15 recoveries, bringing total active cases to 131

September 2020

  • 1 September    Internationally, global cases total over 25 million, with over 800,000 deaths. The WHO announces that the Region of the Americas accounts for nearly half of all new cases from the previous week
  • 4 September    NZ Prime Minister announces that New Zealand would remain on Alert Level 2, with Auckland at the colloquially known ‘Level 2.5’ till at least 11.59pm on the 16th of September. A decision on whether it should be extended will be made on the 14th of September.

                        The 23rd person to die of COVID-19 in New Zealand is reported.

  • 5 September    Overnight the 24th person to die of COVID-19 in New Zealand is reported, former Cook Islands Prime Minister Joe Williams
  • 7 September    In Victoria, there are 1,718 active cases, with 41 new cases and 9 lives lost in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total cases for the state to 19,574.
  • 8 September    Six new confirmed cases in NZ over the prior 24 hours, bringing the total to 1,782, with 123 active cases. All active cases are either at the border or related to the Auckland August cluster, no other community transmission reported.
  • 10 September  There are now 45 cases associated with a sub-cluster of the South Auckland cluster at the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship church. Over 80% of the church have been tested.
  • 14 September  Announced that 89 people were close contacts with someone that had attended a gym before being tested positive for COVID-19, all these people were advised to self-isolate for 2 weeks.

                 The New Zealand Government extended the ‘Alert Level 2.5’ setting for Auckland (and Level 2 for the rest of the country) for one more week, with an announcement to come on September 21st, though social distancing requirements were relaxed on public transport and planes. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters disagreed with the decision to extend.

  • 15 September  30 people entered self-isolation after a household contact of a staff member at Auckland Prison tested positive for COVID-19.
  • 16 September  The 25th person to die of COVID-19 in New Zealand is reported

                        The global number of cases of the virus approaches 30 million

  • 19 September  First new community-transmission case (one case) since 14 September is reported. All new cases since that date had been at the border.
  • 20 September  There are 71 active cases in New Zealand, including one new case from a man after he was released from a two week mandatory quarantine at an isolation hotel, and giving two negative tests.
  • 21 September  No new cases reported in New Zealand.

                      The New Zealand Prime Minister announces as at 11.59pm that evening, the country (except for Auckland) would be dropping to Alert Level 1. Auckland would be waiting till 11.59pm on Wednesday the 23rd, when the city would drop from 2.5 to Alert Level 2. A review of that alert level for Auckland would be undertaken on October 5th.

  • 23 September  Six historic cases are reported in the Waikato, exposed by a family member visiting from Italy. This person is now classified as New Zealand’s earliest case of COVID-19, as they reported feeling symptoms from 21 February, and the previous earliest case was reported on the 28th of February.
  • 24 September  Auckland moves to Alert Level 2
  • 25 September  Two new cases reported, one at the border, the other of community transmission.
  • 27 September  The number of active cases in hospital in New Zealand drops to 1.
  • 29 September  No new cases of community transmission in New Zealand, the total number is 1835 (recovered 1755, active cases 55, with 25 deaths).

International: the world-wide COVID-19 death toll surpasses one million

NZ Data as of 29 September 2020

29 September 2020

Number of confirmed cases in New Zealand 1,835
Recovered 1755
Active cases 55
Deaths 25

29 September 2020

Number of confirmed cases in New Zealand 1,835
Border cases 166
Active cases in MI & Q 29
  Tests Date
Total tested yesterday 3,636 28 September 2020
7-day rolling average 5,413 22 Sept to 28 Sept 2020
Total tested to date 955,590 22 Jan to 28 Sept 2020
Supplies in stock* 277,519 29 Sept 2020
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