Director of health Ashley Bloomfield, who, on most days, reads the numbers that will define how the rest of this year plays out (Illustration: Simon Chesterman)

Covid-19: New Zealand cases mapped and charted, April 14

The latest in our series of charts, graphics and data visualisations by Chris McDowall. David Garcia helped create today’s charts.

This work is entirely funded by the generosity of The Spinoff Members

These posts collate the most recent statistics and present them as charts and maps. The Ministry of Health typically publishes data updates in the early afternoon, which describe the situation at 9am on the day of release. These data visualisations are interactive – use your mouse or thumb to hover over each graph for more detail.

Note for users of The Spinoff app: if the charts below are not appearing, please update your app to the latest version.

This afternoon the director general of health reported the sad news that there have been four further deaths related to Covid-19. This brings the total number of deaths to nine. Three of these people were residents of the Rosewood aged residential care in Christchurch. The other was man in his 70s who died in Wellington.

This afternoon’s Ministry of Health figures report that the total number of confirmed and probable Covid-19 cases stands at 1,366 (1,072 confirmed and 294 probable). A total of 628 people have recovered, an increase of 82 since yesterday. There were eight new confirmed cases reported in the last 24 hours and nine new probable cases.

The number of significant clusters with 10 or more cases remains unchanged at 15. There are 15 people in hospital, which is also the same as yesterday. There are now three people in intensive care units – one each in Middlemore, Dunedin and North Shore hospitals. The Dunedin patient remains in a critical condition.

Yesterday, 1,572 tests were processed. Once again this was a significantly smaller testing volume than in recent days. The ministry reported averaging 3,039 Covid-19 lab tests per day during the week ending April 12. A total of 64,399 lab tests have been conducted since January 22. There are 70,826 test supplies in stock, up from 66,101 yesterday. In its daily media release, the ministry announced that testing will be ramped up again this week.

This chart compares active and recovered cases. Active cases are confirmed or probable cases of Covid-19 where the person has neither recovered nor died. Recovered cases are people who were once an active case, but are at least 10 days since onset and have not exhibited any symptoms for 48 hours.

Once again there was a decrease in the number of active cases – from 798 active cases yesterday down to 729 this morning. The decrease of 69 cases is the largest drop in active cases that we have seen. Aside from a slight uptick on Wednesday, the active cases total has trended slowly downwards for over a week.

The symbol map shows confirmed and probable Covid-19 cases arranged by district health board. In keeping with the relatively small number of new cases, there is minimal change in regional counts. Southern (210), Waitematā (200), Auckland (180) and Waikato (177) remain the four district health boards with the largest number of active cases.

Our older people are particularly vulnerable to this virus. Although trends looks promising, we are not out of the woods yet. People respecting alert level four procedures is critical in reducing the risk of infection and spread.

When you look at the symbol map, recognise that it only tells a small part of the story. None of the four regions with the most cases has recorded a single death relating to Covid-19 — although one Wellington was connected to the Bluff wedding cluster. Instead New Zealand’s nine deaths have been split between Canterbury, Capital and Coast and the West Coast. Two thirds of these deaths were residents from the Rosewood aged residential care facility.

There are 15 significant clusters under investigation by the Ministry of Health. A significant Covid-19 cluster is when there are 10 or more cases connected through transmission and who are not all part of the same household. The cluster count includes both confirmed and probable cases.

Given the relatively small number of new cases today, there is minimal movement in cluster size, with one exception. The Marist school cluster in Auckland grew by eight people, from 85 to 93.

This chart shows cases according to their original “date of report” rather than the “date the case was classified as confirmed/probable”. This is a subtle but important distinction as there is sometimes a lag between a “potential” case getting updated to “probable” or “confirmed”, yet the date of report stays the same.

The same broad trend that we see in the other charts is evident here. There is a downward trend in the number of cases.

Note that the number of cases reported on a particular date may not match the number of cases reported in the last 24 hours. This is because the number of confirmed and probable cases reported in the last 24 hours includes cases which were entered on an earlier date as “under investigation” or “suspected” whose status has now been changed to confirmed or probable.

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