The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic on 11 March 2020 in the wake of the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19. There have been 2290 cases (confirmed and probable) in Aotearoa New Zealand, with 65 currently active.
Aotearoa New Zealand has a four-level alert system to guide the response to the pandemic. We are currently at alert level one.
The number of confirmed cases worldwide now exceeds 100 million, with more than 2.1 million deaths reported and more than 72 million patients officially recovered.
The virus originated in Wuhan City, China and was identified after more than 40 people developed pneumonia in December 2019. The virus is a member of the coronavirus family. This is a diverse group of viruses that includes the common cold. Named SARS-CoV-2, it is related to SARS, which caused an outbreak in 2003, and MERS, which emerged in 2012.
- World Health Organization
- UK Government Collection of Information
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (United States)
Last updated: 26 January 2021
In anticipation of the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine roll-out across Aotearoa New Zealand, we are curating a list of annotated links to trusted information about COVID-19 vaccines.
Science in emergencies: COVID-19 documentaries
By independent filmmaker Shirley Horrocks
Prepared under urgency
Please note that many of these documents reflect current information at a particular point in time, during a rapidly evolving situation.
Can SARS-CoV-2 survive in refrigerated environments – and for how long? – 20 October 2020
A short document on the highly uncertain evidence base for the possibility of SASR-CoV-2 transmission via the cold supply chain. This has been updated with new information on 20 October 2020.
Download ‘Can SARS-CoV-2 survive in refrigerated environments – and for how long?’ (PDF, 208KB)
Rapid review: The role of genomics – 21 September 2020
A commissioned rapid review on the role of COVID-19 genomics in contact tracing, cluster analysis and viral evolution. Produced under urgency by lead author Professor Michael Bunce, Chief Scientist at the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) – Te Mana Rauhī Taiao.
Download the report ‘The role of COVID-19 genomics’ (PDF, 5MB)
COVID-19 vaccines – 7 September 2020
A summary of COVID-19 vaccine development efforts including the different approaches, potential challenges, and the current frontrunners.
Download the ‘COVID-19 vaccines’ report (updated 7 September 2020) (PDF, 1MB)
Download the ‘COVID-19 vaccines’ report (updated 16 July 2020) (PDF, 941KB)
Download the ‘COVID-19 vaccines’ report (21 May 2020 version) (PDF, 793KB)
Masks prevent the spread of COVID-19 – 13 August 2020
A short document on the evidence base for mask wearing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 plus explanation of the different types of masks.
Download ‘Masks prevent the spread of COVID-19’ (PDF, 202KB)
COVID-19 and vitamin D – 2 June 2020
Produced by Cherie Tollemache, one of our MacDiarmid interns, this report summarises the evidence for a link between vitamin D status and COVID-19 severity.
Download the ‘COVID-19 and vitamin D’ report (PDF, 867KB)
COVID-19 and seasonality – 18 May 2020
Produced by Stephen Lo, one of our MacDiarmid interns, this report examines the role of climate and weather in the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Download the ‘COVID-19 and seasonality’ report (PDF, 375KB)
Is SARS-CoV-2 airborne? – 14 May 2020
This short summary describes research investigating whether an airborne transmission route is possible for SARS-CoV-2 and what role this might play in the progression of the pandemic.
Download the report ‘Is SARS-CoV-2 airborne?’ (PDF, 191KB)
Serology testing for COVID-19 antibodies – 29 April 2020
Focusing specifically on antibody testing, this review builds on the paper below led by Professor Michael Bunce, Chief Scientist at the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) – Te Mana Rauhī Taiao.
Download the report ‘Serology testing for the presence of antibodies against COVID-19’ (PDF, 496KB)
Testing for COVID-19 – 30 March 2020
A commissioned review on COVID-19 testing methods, produced under urgency by lead author Professor Michael Bunce, Chief Scientist at the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) – Te Mana Rauhī Taiao.
Download the report ‘Testing for COVID-19’ (PDF, 880KB)
Download the appendices for the report (PDF, 2.41MB)
Advisory information provided to the Prime Minister as part of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Download the June/July/August advice bundle (PDF, 4MB)
Download the May advice bundle (PDF, 693KB)
Download the April advice bundle (PDF, 6MB)
Read the March advice bundle (PDF, 611KB)
Universal genome sequencing and exquisitely detailed tracing of COVID-19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand offers unique insights into how COVID-19 spreads.
How is Aotearoa New Zealand using genome sequencing in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic? Watch the latest documentary from independent filmmaker Shirley Horrocks.
A Newsroom article on the surge in waste and single-use plastics generated by the COVID-19 pandemic features commentary from Rachel.
EPA Chief Scientist Professor Michael Bunce spoke to RNZ's Morning Report about his rapid review on genomics for COVID-19.
A new rapid review outlines the strengths and areas for improvement in Aotearoa New Zealand's application of genomics in the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new rapid review on COVID-19 genome sequencing has described New Zealand's efforts as 'world-leading' – but there's still room for improvement.
We reflect on the role of genome sequencing in the most recent COVID-19 outbreak in Auckland as the EPA Chief Scientist Professor Michael Bunce publishes a rapid review on the topic.
When will we have a vaccine? And are our borders sufficiently secure now? Science reporter Jamie Morton spoke to Juliet and other scientists to answer five burning coronavirus questions facing NZ.
The doco, by independent filmmaker Shirley Horrocks, features key players in Aotearoa's COVID-19 response.
Juliet was interviewed for a short World Health Organization video on Aotearoa New Zealand's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reports of a more transmissible strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus should be interpreted with caution, says Juliet.
Juliet features alongside six other scientists who were instrumental in Aotearoa New Zealand's COVID-19 pandemic response in this NZ Herald article.
Juliet's celebratory single malt was one of many joyous reactions shared across NZ as coronavirus restrictions lifted.
New Zealand Herald science reporter Jamie Morton asks Juliet and three other experts to rate Aotearoa New Zealand's response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
As the COVID-19 pandemic rages offshore, how does Aotearoa New Zealand decide to reopen our borders and what constitutes an acceptable level of risk?
Juliet and Rachel reflect on the risks of reopening Aotearoa New Zealand's borders in the midst of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Juliet joined Stuff's Coronavirus NZ podcast, giving an inside glimpse into New Zealand's COVID-19 response – and revealing her lockdown baking habits.
In this interview with for The Spinoff, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern discusses the pandemic response and Juliet's critical role.
Juliet spoke to New Zealand Herald investigations reporter Matt Nippert about Aotearoa New Zealand's pandemic plan.
At the half way point of the four-week-long level four COVID-19 lockdown, Juliet talks to Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon about how and when we exit the strictest level.
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, some scientists disagreed over the approach Aotearoa New Zealand should take. But such debates are a healthy part of how science works.
The New Zealand Herald's science reporter Jamie Morton spoke to Juliet about separating "the fact from the fudge" during the COVID-19 crisis.
As the number of cases of COVID-19 skyrockets globally it’s tempting to dive into the wealth of data updated daily on the internet. But we need to be cautious about interpreting the data.
Juliet speaks to Lisa Owen on RNZ about the worldwide measures that will hopefully curb the rate of Covid-19 transmission in New Zealand, as the country prepares for lockdown.
Juliet sat down with the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Dr Michelle Dickinson (aka Nanogirl) for a Q&A session on the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak. The video has received more than 1.8 million views.
Banner images: NIAID/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)