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New Zealand - Multiple possible exposure sites after 2nd person tests positive for COVID-19: Auckland in lockdown for a week - February 27, 2021

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  • sharon sanders
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  • Sally Furniss
    From 15 Feb, 2021

    LSG Sky Chefs, which services at least 34 airlines around the world according to its website, including Air New Zealand, has shut its laundry department in M?ngere, Auckland after a staff member tested positive for Covid-19.

    The staff member, her tradesman husband and Year 9 Papatoetoe High School daughter are the three new community Covid-19 cases in South Auckland reported

    "leading hypothesis is that this cluster is the result of a border incursion from this [December MIQ] case"

    "Genomically, it was linked. But we have to think back to that time: December, January, February was the time when B.1.1.7 was increasing in frequency and exploding, really, around the world," she said.

    Jemma Geoghegan, an evolutionary virologist at the University of Otago "During that first explosion of a new variant, there isn't much diversity that you can see between cases. So two cases that look like they might be linked might in fact share an ancestor many transmissions ago. It's really hard to make those conclusions from the genomics."

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  • New Zealand - Multiple possible exposure sites after 2nd person tests positive for COVID-19: Auckland in lockdown for a week - February 27, 2021

    Covid-19 coronavirus: Auckland in alert level 3 lockdown for a week, rest of NZ at level 2 - Jacinda Ardern

    27 Feb, 2021 06:16 AM

    Auckland will go into alert level 3 lockdown for seven days from 6am tomorrow morning.NZ Herald

    Auckland has moved to alert level 3 lockdown for seven days, following an announcement from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern late last night.

    The rest of the country has transitioned to level 2 for a week.

    It comes after a new Covid-19 case was detected in the community yesterday. The new case, 20, went to the GP on Friday afternoon for a Covid test - then went to the gym after that.

    Ardern said that was "frustrating".

    Health officials have also confirmed another Covid community case - the mother of this afternoon's case.

    She is isolating and asymptomatic.

    Back into lockdown

    Public venues, Ardern said, will be closed for seven days.

    Gatherings outside of bubbles are prohibited.


    The border around Auckland will be re-established - police are working to set those up now.


    People at high risk of illness are encouraged to stay at home, Ardern said.

    Ardern said Cabinet will have check ins along the way, in terms of alert levels.

    But now there a number of levels of exposure.

    "This will take some time," but at this stage, it's likely Auckland will stay at level 3 for the whole 7 days.

    But for the rest of the county, the level 2 settings will be reviewed throughout the week.

    The new case

    The new case was a family member of a student from Papatoetoe High School. That student had tested negative 3 times before and had no known symptoms - that means there is no current link to the cluster.

    The latest case, 21, developed symptoms on Tuesday.

    They were tested on Friday and the positive result was received today.

    Genome testing is underway - and there is a strong assumption that it's from the current cluster.

    But that cannot be confirmed yet.

    Ardern said there was a "cause for concern" as this person has been infectious for a week and not been in isolation.

    Cabinet met this afternoon after the new case was detected.

    That person had been to a number of "well-populated sites".

    Director general of Health Ashley Bloomfield said testing of other household members has been completed.

    The man's mother has also tested positive for Covid-19, Bloomfield.

    The new case was tested by their GP yesterday but has been infectious since last weekend.

    The new case works part-time at the airport.

    More sequencing is underway and will be back later tonight - he said that would likely show a link to the current cluster.

    Bloomfield said it was "very unlikely" that any of the tests from recent outbreak are false negatives.

    Six new locations of interest

    The Ministry of Health has released six new locations of interest tonight:

    • Hunters Plaza, Papatoetoe, visited at 26 February 2.55pm-5pm
    • Burger King, Highland Park, 25 February, 8pm-9pm
    • Your Health Pharmacy, Papatoetoe, 23 February, 2.45pm-3.50pm
    • Pak 'N' Save Manukau, 21 February, 5.30pm-6.40pm
    • CityFitness, Papatoetoe, 26 February, 3.20pm-4.40pm and, 20 February, 12.20pm-1.45pm
    • Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT), Ōtara, 22, 25 and 26 February

    Anyone who visited these locations is to be considered a casual contact of a Covid case "out of an abundance of caution". No specific times have been mentioned by the Ministry so far.

    Rules not followed

    The new case went to the GP in the afternoon yesterday for a Covid test - they went to the gym after that.

    Ardern said the rules have not always been followed in the latest outbreak.

    "People who should have been in isolation, weren't."


    "Please follow the rules, on behalf of everyone."

    We do have the ability to take enforcement action if we need to," she said of people who break the rules.

    But she said she needs people to still get tested and they can't be afraid to do that.

    Bloomfield said the situation was "challenging".

    He said the contact tracing system has come "under pressure" this week.

    She said New Zealand was "very close to being in a more certain future" as the country waits for vaccines.

    She called on New Zealanders to just hang in for a little longer.

    During the last week, there has been "significant" testing in south Auckland, Bloomfield said.

    He said the Ministry of Health is seeing people with muscle aches and general weakness and fatigue, as Covid-19 symptoms.

    He is calling on anyone who has these symptoms to get tested.

    "We are now in a position where we have a number of potential exposure events," he said.