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Tēnā koe i tēnei ahiahi,

One of the most overused cliches in journalism is 'Irish eyes were smiling', in reference to St Patrick's Day celebrations.

This year we know Covid-19 severely hampered many a craic the world over and now it's turning into a terrible hangover for some who did party.

Officials confirmed today that:

Remember to stay in touch. You can join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or send me a message. Contribute to our daily Covid-19 podcast by downloading our VoxPop app and sending an audio message.

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Here we go...

Craig Begg, with his dad Trevor. Craig is an essential worker.

News snapshot

More than 20 cases of Covid-19 can be linked to a St Patrick's Day party in Matamata. 

Investigations to find the original source traced it back to overseas travel, which remains the major factor across all infections.

The largest cluster, however, is from Auckland's Marist College, where there are 47 confirmed or probable cases.

An analysis has also showed the virus was more prevalent in those aged in their 20s.

More essential workers are getting a pay rise. We hope the charming Craig Begg, pictured above, is one of them.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Government had found no evidence of price gouging by essential businesses but it would keep a watching brief. She thanked those health workers who were returning to the workforce to help.

An Otago scientist specialising in smell and taste needs your help too. She has joined an international team scrambling to gather data about the early warning signs of Covid-19.

Sports fans were dealt another blow today, with news Radio Sport has been taken off air indefinitely.

Overseas, it's fair to say the news remains pretty grim

US President Donald Trump has decided his goal of opening up the country by Easter was "aspirational". He added limiting the death toll to 100,000 would be a good result (I'm shaking my head as I type).

This chap here is a true marvel though, using his spidey skills to help keep kids entertained.

Helping hand

Having spidey man help out the kids is great but you may need a few more options to keep the little blighters occupied. This story is chockablock full of excellent choices. I'm quite the fan of Nasa's Mars rover adventure but perhaps real life is already like living on another planet.

Whether here or an alien world, having somewhere reliable to call home is very important in helping stop the spread of Covid-19. Tenants and landlords wondering what their responsibilities are at the moment can bone up here.

Backyard quackers

Journalist Kim Baker Wilson's parents are creating their own epic backyard series featuring four teddies and a rather insane-looking duck.

There are no canards for Black Caps captain Kane Williamson at the moment. He's stuck playing backyard cricket (the purest form of the game) with his dog.

Jeff and Cathy would like to apologise for their howler, and say a belated happy birthday to Pete Stringer. They say the lack of a present is not due to Covid-19, they're just useless. Honesty is always good.

If you fancy a birthday shout out then drop me a line. Try to be more prompt than Jeff and Cathy though.

I have added more of your suggestions to our RNZ fans' Covid-19 pick-me-up Spotify playlist.  

Till tomorrow. Kia Kaha. 
Kane Williamson and his dog at first slip
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