News and Notices

NMH COVID-19 Update: 1 May 2020

This update provides information about confirmed cases in the Nelson Marlborough region, community-based assessment centre (CBAC) data and any new information for our communities.

Please go to the main COVID-19 website for information about the CBACs, contact tracing, hospital planning and more:


1. Total confirmed cases in the Nelson Marlborough region

New: One probable case in Marlborough has been reclassified as a confirmed case.

The total number of confirmed and probable cases remains the same since the new case announced on 30 April in Nelson.













  • All cases are thought to be travel-related and there is no evidence yet of a community outbreak in the region
  • All cases are in isolation at home or in their place of usual residence.
  • There are no cases in hospital.

Please refer to the Ministry of Health’s website for further detail: Case confirmation dates, gender and age group and travel details:

2. How a probable case can be reclassified as a confirmed case

Every so often a ‘probable’ case is reclassified as a ‘confirmed’ case. This has been happening since the Ministry of Health revised the case definition for COVID-19, which resulted in a change to the testing requirements.

Since the case definition changed, we have retested some people who previously had negative results or didn’t get tested due to the case definition at the time, and who were diagnosed as a probable case. If their new test comes back as positive, we change their status to ‘confirmed’.

What is the difference between a probable case and a confirmed case?
A probable case is someone where the suspicion of disease is so high that the clinicians believe this is more than likely a case than not but cannot prove this by lab testing.

There are three ways that someone is diagnosed as a probable COVID-19 case:

  1. They have clinically-compatible symptoms, and an absence of other known causes that would explain why they have clinical symptoms 
  2. They are a close contact of a confirmed case, and either meet the clinical criteria or cannot readily be tested
  3. The clinician assessing them believes that, based on clinical symptoms, an inconclusive test or no test, and their exposure history, that they are very likely to be a case.

3. Recovery rates

The number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 is 45, meaning that there are four cases who are still being monitored and supported by the Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service.

The recovery rate is a subset of the total number of confirmed cases.

The Ministry of Health defines a recovered case as: At least 10 days have passed since they first had symptoms of COVID-19, and they have had no symptoms for at least 48 hours. Like most countries, we don't usually test again to make sure, because the test result shows whether or not they have remnants of the virus, not whether or not they can infect other people.

4. Next week: Different hours for the community-based assessment centres (CBACs)

The opening hours for some of the CBACs will be reduced from Saturday 2 May.

There will still be more than enough capacity to assess and test people with symptoms. Please refer to the NMH webpage on Saturday to see the new hours:

5. Community-based assessment centre (CBAC) data

The total number of people assessed and tested on 30 April 2020 was:





30 April














Golden Bay assessment centre data has been collected since 13 April: Data is published in these reports every few days, and included in the running totals table below.

Running total CBAC data, by location:






24 MARCH to 30 APRIL

Assessed: 1677

Assessed: 814

Assessed: 531


Tested: 1192

Tested: 548

Tested: 319

13 APRIL to 29 APRIL




Assessed: 60

Tested: 58

Please note:

  1. The rate of testing has increased substantially in the past weeks, in line with the revised Ministry of Health case definition.
  2. This data does not include testing conducted by GPs in healthcare centres (clinics) or by clinicians in hospitals.

6. Change to hospital visiting hours

More people are now allowed to visit patients in Wairau and Nelson hospitals under a revised visitors’ policy relating to the COVID-19 alert levels.

One family member or support person may now visit one patient at a time.

Lexie O’Shea, Incident Controller, Hospital Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) for COVID-19 says the protection of staff and patients is still a high priority during Alert Level 3. The continued restricted visitor access is part of measures that all New Zealand hospitals are taking to minimise the risk of COVID-19 by reducing the numbers of people that move through hospitals.

Read the full announcement here:

7. For further information

Please go to the NMH website COVID-19 page for information about:

  • Health & disability services at Alert Level 3
  • The definition of a ‘probable’ case
  • Why DHBs only release case information by territorial authority regions (and not by towns or smaller regions)
  • Contact tracing
  • Community-based assessment centre (CBAC) locations
  • The difference between screening, assessment and testing at a CBAC
  • Hospital visitation rules
  • Changes to planned care (elective) procedures
  • Where to find the best COVID-19 information and advice
  • Resources to download and share
  • Other frequently-asked questions