On 22 January 2020, Te Marae Ora activated the national health emergency response and Incident Management System (IMS), in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in China, that has now spread to other parts of the world. The IMS consists of the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at Rarotonga Hospital and Event Surveillance and Response (ESR) room at Public Health, Tupapa. The National Health Emergency Taskforce (NHET) is active.

The Cook Islands has established COVID-19 as a notifiable disease under Schedule 2, of the Public Health Act (2004).

This is a rapidly evolving situation which was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) on 31 December 2019, regarding viral pneumonia cases in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Over 75,000 confirmed cases have been reported (99% in China), and over 2,000 related deaths. Outside China, there are over 2,000 cases in 29 countries, and at least 25 deaths. Human-to-human transmission is  established with respiratory droplets the main mode of transmission. There are no cases reported in New Zealand and French Polynesia. Australia has reported 22 cases, the United States of America has reported 35 cases. WHO declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020. The WHO risk assessment of this event remains unchanged from 22 January 2020 – China: very high, Western Pacific Region: high, Global: high

JHU COVID-19 updates: JHU COVID-19 Updates

WHO Sitreps and other information: WHO COVID-19 Sitreps


  1. wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or hand sanitizer
  2. avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  3. cover your coughs and sneezes, if using tissue, discard immediately in a closed bin
  4. don’t share drinks and foods (spit/saliva)
  5. when greeting people, try the nod, instead of a kiss, hug, fist bump, or shaking hands
  6. avoid close contact with people who are sick


All those with a cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, or flu-like illness should visit the ‘coughs and colds’ flu clinic in Blackrock. Call 29667 prior to organise your appointment. Consultation is FREE.

Opening hours: 8am to 2pm Monday to Friday.


Pursuant to s9A of the Entry Residence and Departure Act 1972 the following travel restriction is in place: Persons intending to travel to the Cook Islands who have been in China within the last 14 days prior to travel will be denied entry into the Cook Islands. In addition, all Cook Islanders and residents of the Cook Islands should avoid non-essential travel to China.