This story by RNZ.co.nz is republished with permission
There is one new community case of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, linked to the existing Auckland cases.
The update was provided in a statement from the Ministry of Health.
The new case is a household contact of the three community cases announced on Wednesday, the ministry said.
“This person had previously returned a negative test, taken on Monday 15 February, and has been isolating at home and is in the process of transferring to the Auckland quarantine facility.
“There is one additional member of this household, who has returned a negative test result, but is also being transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility.”
There are also three new cases in managed isolation. One of the cases in managed isolation is classified as historical and deemed not infectious.
The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 50. The total number of confirmed cases is 1992.
The ministry said other than known cases which had been reported, all close contacts associated with the cases households, school and travel group to New Plymouth have returned negative results.
“Contact tracing has identified 128 close contacts associated with all cases in this cluster, aside from the positive cases which have previously been reported. Of these, 112 of the close contacts have returned a negative test result.
“We are awaiting test results for 16 people. Seven of these people are from the medical clinic and relate to Case C, which is considered a low risk exposure event, and nine are workplace contacts of Case E. All of whom are in isolation and have been or are being tested.”
A total of 31 close contacts and 1476 casual plus contacts had now been identified at Papatoetoe High School.
“The number of casual plus contacts has decreased as these people were not at school at the time of exposure.
“We do remind all students and staff at the school to please stay home and have a test if they haven’t already. School is expected to return on Monday 22 February. Close contacts at the school will not return until they have been advised by public health that they can.”
LSG Sky Chef staff have also been tested and all nine contacts in the laundry have returned negative results.
The ministry said all possibilities for potential infection sources were being thoroughly investigated, including the school, the workplace and a managed isolation facility.
Previous cases have been reviewed for a similar genome and no direct matches have been found.
“A possible genomic similarity – but no direct match – involved a guest at the Four Points by Sheraton managed isolation facility in Auckland.
Guests and their household contacts who were at the facility in late December are being contacted.
There will be nine community testing centres available for testing across Auckland this weekend – Takanini, Wiri, Otara, Botany, Balmoral, New Lynn, Henderson and Northcote, as well as the dedicated testing site at Papatoetoe High School.
The ministry has also received the results from ESR’s wastewater testing for 17 February and found no evidence of Covid-19 in wastewater from the seven sites sampled in Auckland and in three other centres – Hamilton, New Plymouth and Wellington.
Today is the first day of Covid-19 vaccinations in New Zealand.
There were no new community cases of Covid-19 yesterday and Cabinet agreed to make face coverings on public transport a requirement for all of New Zealand