Auckland college shocked after learning of supposed link to new Covid cluster during press conference

An east Auckland high school says it was shocked after finding out at this afternoon's press conference that it was meant to have been closed because of a link to the Covid cluster.

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Pakuranga College say they were unsure why Dr Ashley Bloomfield “dropped us in it” when he said the school should be closed because of a Covid cluster link. Source: 1 NEWS

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said at this afternoon's announcement that Mt Albert Grammar and Pakuranga College are now closed along with Taeaofou i Puaseisei Preschool, Glamorgan School in Torbay and Auckland's Southern Cross Campus after confirmed cases were linked to them.

However, Pakuranga College said in a social media post shortly after Dr Bloomfield's comments that this afternoon's announcement was the first they had heard of such news and the school's principal was now on the phone with the Ministry of Health demanding answers.

"We will keep you informed as soon as we have more information," the school told concerned parents.

1 NEWS has since learned from the school they have been informed there is no case at the school and they're "not sure why Dr Bloomfield dropped us in it".

Principal Michael Williams told 1 NEWS he is now dealing with upset staff and students and has lost faith in the Ministry of Education.

1 NEWS questioned Dr Bloomfield and Chris Hipkins, who is both Minister of Health and Education, about Pakuranga College's statement during the 1pm press conference and Mr Hipkins said they "should have been notified".

"I will double-check that," Mr Hipkins said.

"The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education are working very closely together in Auckland. I know that the regional director for the Ministry of Education is actually in the control-nerve centre in Auckland so that as these things come to light, the Ministry of Education can do their bit."

When challenged that the school said they didn't know, Dr Bloomfield added he was "just going from his notes" but remembered Pakuranga College's name appearing "a day ago".

Mr Hipkins said they will look into the situation and come back with more complete details which resulted in an apology from the Ministry of Health this afternoon.

"The Ministry incorrectly named Pakuranga College as an affected school," it said in a statement.

"While there is a casual link, the Ministry is awaiting further test results and at this point no additional public health action is required from the school.

"The Ministry apologises for putting information in the public domain without first notifying the school."