Dr Ashley Bloomfield says there will “almost certainly” be more Covid-19 cases, following the fifth case confirmed in Auckland this morning.
The Mt Albert Grammar School community in Auckland was alerted overnight that a student at the school had been diagnosed with Covid-19.
The Director-General of Health confirmed this morning that the case was a close contact of the four people from a South Auckland family, already confirmed to have the virus earlier this week.
Dr Bloomfield says further cases are “almost certainly” expected, but it was too early to say whether the country should move to Alert Level 4 lockdown.
“We want to find out how large it is as soon as possible so we’ve been testing all close contacts, casual contacts, workplace, family related - this is what we want to do as quickly as possible," Dr Bloomfield told TVNZ1's Breakfast.
Though members of the Auckland family confirmed to have the virus had travelled to Rotorua, he said there was no particular reason to put Rotorua in Level 3.
Dr Bloomfield said “it’s quite clear” that the origin of the outbreak is in Auckland.
But, he also said it’s “a possibility” that the outbreak could now be nationwide, despite there being no one identified as a close contact in Rotorua.
“Yes a number of casual contacts...no close contacts but of course we are taking a hugely precautionary approach here," he said.
"That’s why we’ve asked anyone who might have been at those venues at the time that the family was to be very aware of symptoms."
Dr Bloomfield said it’s “too early to say” if the country would move into Level 4 as a result of the latest case, but more information would be made available tomorrow.
“What we have will have by the middle of the day tomorrow is a lot more information about the extent of any infections in the community, how many people might be infected and what their movements may have been - not just in Tāmaki Makaurau but around the country.”
“We always knew when we found a case, that it would require a nationwide response.”