New community case numbers in New Zealand have dropped below the 10,000 mark for the first time in more than a month, with 8810 new community cases reported today, along with 18 new deaths.

Covid rapid antigen nasal test. Self test at home or at corona test station. 3d illustrationPhoto:

Today was the lowest number of new cases since 24 February, when 6137 cases were reported.

While there is generally lower testing and reporting over weekends, today’s seven-day rolling average is 13,543, down from 16,325 a week ago.

In today’s statement, the Ministry of Health said the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has risen slightly after several days of falls, with 690 hospitalisations reported today, up from 678 yesterday. There are 26 people in intensive care.

The 18 new deaths reported today include one person in the 30s. The rest include three in their 60s, eight in their 70s, three in their 80s, and three who were over-90. Twelve were men and six were women.

Two were from Northland, seven from the Auckland region, three from Waikato, one from Whanganui, one from Hawke’s Bay, one from the Wellington region, two from Canterbury, and one from Southern.

The deaths being reported today included people who have died over the past five days. The total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 is now 396.

Today’s new cases were in the Northland (385), Auckland (1555), Waikato (729), Bay of Plenty (414), Lakes (226), Hawke’s Bay (420), MidCentral (502), Whanganui (222), Taranaki (342), Tairāwhiti (102), Wairarapa (91), Capital and Coast (635), Hutt Valley (389), Nelson Marlborough (364), Canterbury (1463), South Canterbury (172), Southern (735) and West Coast (57) DHBs.

There were also 31 new cases at the border.

There were 11,560 new community cases of Covid-19 and 23 additional deaths reported yesterday.

There have now been 691,742 cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand since the pandemic began.

The Ministry of Health also reminded New Zealanders today that from 11:59pm tomorrow night, there is no requirement to use My Vaccine Pass, although businesses will still be able to use the system if they want to.

“As restrictions around the pass ease, it is important for people to continue to follow public health advice to stay at home; away from school or work if you’re feeling unwell. Another way to protect you and your whanau is to get vaccinated if you haven’t already done so.”