One new Covid-19 community case today, linked to Auckland outbreak

There is one new community Covid-19 case today, a person who is already in quarantine, linked to last week's Auckland cases. 

Source: Getty

The person is a household contact of the second family linked to Papatoetoe High School, the Ministry of Health confirmed in a statement. One member of the family was a close contact of the initial case at the school, a Year 9 student. 

Today’s case, Case H, had been in the Auckland quarantine facility since Friday.

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The Prime Minister says keeping Auckland at Alert Level 2 was a "precautionary" step based on experts' advice. Source: Breakfast

Case H had previously been tested and returned a negative result. They have been isolating at home since Monday last week and were transferred to quarantine as a precaution. 

Because they were in isolation while infectious, the Ministry of Health said there were no additional contacts to report. 

"Due to the steps already taken in identifying, testing and tracing individuals linked to the February cases, as well as Case H isolating at home since Monday and then being in quarantine for the last two days, the public health risk is considered very low," the Ministry of Health said.

It comes ahead of the Government's decision this afternoon about whether Auckland can join the rest of the country at Alert Level 1. 

The last community case was reported on Friday, when a household contact of three previous cases in Auckland tested positive for the virus. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to make an announcement about alert levels at 3pm. 

Investigations continue into the source of the latest Auckland outbreak. 

Six cases of Covid-19 at New Zealand's borders were also detected, four of which are deemed to be historical and not infectious.

The two current cases both arrived in New Zealand on February 20 and are in the Auckland quarantine facility.

One case who travelled through Qatar tested positive on arrival. The other person travelled from Iraq from the United Arab Emirates and tested positive on day one.

Of the historical cases, one arrived on December 17 from the USA. They tested positive for Covid-19 around day three of their stay. The Ministry of Health said there was a delay in reporting this case because it had to confirm it was not previously reported elsewhere.

The three remaining historical cases all tested positive on arrival and are all in managed isolation in Christchurch.

The second historical case arrived on February 17 from Morocco, via Singapore and France.

The third historical case arrived on February 18 from the US.

The fourth historical case arrived on February 18 from Colombia, via the US.

Since January 1 this year, New Zealand has had 33 historical cases.

Four previously reported cases have now recovered, bringing the total number of active cases in New Zealand to 54. Since the start of the pandemic, New Zealand has had 2001 cases. 

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,662,321.

Yesterday, 3,882 tests were processed. The seven-day rolling average up to yesterday is 10,338 tests.

NZ COVID Tracer now has 2,671,646 registered users, with 110,000 new users in the past two weeks. 

Poster scans have reached 191,011,305 and users have created 7,704,970 manual diary entries.

Posters had been scanned 1,397,316 in the past 24 hours. 

Risk 'very low' after border case reported yesterday went onboard a vessel at sea, says Ministry of Health

The one Covid-19 case reported in managed isolation yesterday is now onboard a commercial vessel at sea, the Ministry of Health said.

The person, a mariner, tested negative on day one in managed isolation, then positive on day three. 

The second test result came after the crew member boarded the vessel, the Ministry of Health said. 

"The case had no contact with port workers and given that all policies and procedures were followed the risk to the community is considered very low.

"Mariners are allowed to leave managed isolation and board vessels, before a test result is known to limit disruption to international shipping.

"Health authorities remain in contact with the vessel about appropriate quarantine arrangements for all crew on board."