No new cases connected to Auckland case

Photo: File/SunLive.

There are no additional cases of COVID-19 in the community linked to yesterday’s Auckland case.

This case has a genomic link to the case of a Defence Force worker at the Jet Park hotel, with the worker spending some time in locations where the new case worked.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay provided a live update this afternoon. 

Hipkins says that the direct link means that the new case doesn’t point to an unknown border incursion that could be spreading.

However, he says they want to ramp up testing over the weekend and in coming weeks to be sure.

Hipkins says Auckland will remain at alert level one and the CBD can reopen.

“The CBD in Auckland will be reopened and people can return. Events can take place, but we are asking people to act with caution as we continue to assess the risk of potential spread of any of the current cases.”

The government will be making mask-wearing on public transport in the Auckland region mandatory on an "ongoing basis".

He says he will take an order to Cabinet on Monday to do this, which would include flights from Auckland.

It may also become mandatory to do scanning at places where a lot of people gather, such as large public events, he says. 

Dr McElnay confirmed that the new cases three close contacts have returned negative tests for COVID-19. 

She also announced there are four new cases of COVID-19 today all in managed isolation. 

One involves a recent arrival and the other three have been classified as historical. 

The recent arrival arrived from the Philippines via Hongkong on October 31. They tested positive on day 12.

The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 53, and the total confirmed number of confirmed cases is 1639. 

There were 7267 tests processed yesterday.

The Ministry of Health is asking all people who attended locations of interest in Auckland at key times to get tested for COVID-19, regardless of whether they have symptoms.

Four additional testing centres have been set-up in Auckland.

Dr McElnay urged people to use the QR codes wherever they see them. 

The Auckland case reported yesterday is a student and retail worker who lives next to the Grand Millennium managed isolation hotel.

She works at A-Z Collection in the city centre and went to work on November 11 after a conversation with her manager. 

-Additional reporting RNZ 

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