New Zealand reports first COVID death in over 6 months

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Staff members wearing face masks stand at a COVID testing station in Christchurch. The Outbreak of delta variant in New Zealand saw a huge rush of people wanting to be tested.
ADAM BRADLEY/SOPA IMAGES/LIGHTROCKET VIA GETTY IMAGES

(CBS) – New Zealand reported its first coronavirus death in more than six months on Saturday, while the number of new cases continued to trend downward. Health authorities said the woman who died was in her 90s and had underlying health problems.

Authorities reported 20 new community cases, all in the largest city of Auckland.

New Zealand remains in lockdown as it tries to eliminate an outbreak of the delta variant that began last month. The snap lockdown was announced in August after a man tested positive for the virus, marking the the first case there in six months, the BBC reported. 

“Going hard and early has worked for us before,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at the time. 

New cases in the outbreak have steadily fallen from a peak of more than 80 each day. 

New Zealand has so far escaped the worst of the pandemic and has reported just 27 coronavirus deaths since it began.

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