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Sixth community case of Covid-19 confirmed, linked to existing Auckland outbreak

A sixth case of Covid-19 has been confirmed in the community today, linked to the Valentine's Day outbreak in Auckland.

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The person is from the same household as two other cases confirmed today. Source: 1 NEWS

The person is in the same household as the two siblings announced earlier today, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield confirmed in the 4.30pm media briefing today, alongside the Prime Minister.

Two other members of the household have so far tested negative.

The other cases announced today were two Papatoetoe High School students. One is a classmate and close contact of the case announced Sunday, as well as their sibling who was already being treated as a casual-plus contact.

Those two are currently non-symptomatic, Bloomfield says, and were swabbed yesterday.

"We recognise these new cases cause concern for the school and wider community, but it is reassuring they are all linked and were identified through the testing put in place specifically for this purpose," he says.

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Further locations of interest are being investigated but Bloomfield says the newest case was in isolation during their infectious period.

The new case was revealed shortly before Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the country would be moving down alert levels from midnight tonight.

Auckland's lockdown will be lifted as the city moves to Level 2, while the rest of the country moves to Level 1.

Those restrictions will be in place until Monday, when Cabinet re-evaluates.

While schools can reopen as usual under Level 2, Papatoetoe High School will remain closed until next Monday "to provide all possible reassurance to the community", Bloomfield says.

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"We are confident we have contact tracing and testing of any school-related contacts has been robust," he says.

More than 1550 close and casual-plus contacts have been identified at the school, with nearly 1200 returning negative Covid-19 tests so far.

Close contacts are still required to isolate for a full 14 days after their exposure, despite returning a negative test, as it's possible for them to initially test negative before developing the virus.