Live: Covid-19 updates for Thursday 18 February

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People are being reminded the country is not out of the woods yet – despite moving down alert levels.

Auckland is now in alert level 2 and the rest of New Zealand in level 1 despite three new community cases of Covid-19 being announced on Wednesday. Two Papatoetoe High School students and a household contact tested positive for the coronavirus. The cases were linked to the three announced on Sunday.

There is an exception to the changes in Auckland: all Papatoetoe High School students, staff and their families are required to isolate at home until Monday, and not return to school on Monday without a negative test. The school will remain closed for the rest of the week.

University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker said it was the right call to lower levels, but would have liked to have a move to 2.5 and 1.5.

He said having many levels like Melbourne is useful.

The alert levels will be reviewed on Monday 22 February.

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