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4 cases of COVID-19

4 cases of COVID-19

Posted February 18, 2021

Media Release: Ministry of Health

Today 3 cases of COVID-19 in managed isolation have been reported.

There are no new cases in the community outside of the 3 cases announced yesterday.

For formal reporting figures, the sixth community case (Case F) is included in the numbers today.

Auckland February cases

No further cases in the community provides continued reassurance that the all of system response continues to be a highly effective reaction to the Auckland February cases.

The three cases announced yesterday, (D, E and F), from the second family household group have all now been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility

Contact tracing and test results

Contact tracing has identified 135 close contacts associated to all six cases. Of these, 103 of the close contacts have returned a negative test and 28 are pending.

As at 11.30am this morning, a total of 31 close contacts and 1,490 casual plus contacts have been identified at Papatoetoe High School. This is a drop from yesterday as further investigation has confirmed some were not a contact.

Of the 31 school close contacts, 30 have returned negative results, with one positive result (Case D).

Of the casual plus contacts (that is other students and staff at the school), 1398 have returned negative results, there was one positive (Case E), and 91 results are to come.

All students and staff at the school are reminded to please stay home and isolate until receiving a negative test. School is expected to return on Monday 22 February. Close contacts at the school will not return until 24 February and must return a second negative test before doing so.

As part of source investigation, LSG Sky Chef staff have also been tested.

All nine contacts in the laundry have returned negative results. Of the 444 people in the wider working environment, 350 are negative and 93 results are pending (1 positive, Case B).

Investigations will continue today into the three community cases announced yesterday, including further interviews with contact tracing staff. As a result, a potential increase in the number of locations of interest, close and casual plus contacts is not unexpected.

The priority is for close contacts and close casual contacts to be tested so health staff can understand any risk in the community.

Source investigation

At this stage all scenarios for likely infection sources are being thoroughly investigated including the school, the workplace and a managed isolation facility as potential sources of infection.

Case B’s worksite continues to be the most likely source of the infection, but no stone is being left unturned and other scenarios are being considered though all are considered unlikely. It is not uncommon for a source to not be definitely identified.

ESR has been reviewing all of the UK B.1.1.7 variants that have shown up in New Zealand over the last two months, that work shows there is no direct match with the genome in this case.

However, for completeness, it has been decided to review other cases that have a similar genome. The closest one on record relates to a case from December at the Four Points by Sheraton managed isolation facility in Auckland.

While ESR have advised the Ministry of Health this is an unlikely source, guests and their household contacts who were at the facility in late December have been contacted to get either a PCR or serology test if they have had any symptoms since leaving the facility.

Health officials do not consider this a likely source of infection at this stage but are actively chasing down every line of enquiry in order to ensure completeness of investigations and so they can confidently rule out possibilities in order to narrow their focus.

Testing centres

More than 25 thousand tests have been performed across Auckland since Sunday. Today, community testing centres in Auckland are reporting increased demand, with queues at the Otara, Wiri and Botany testing sites.

For up-to-date information on testing locations in metro Auckland, visit .

For up to date info on all testing locations nationwide, visit

It’s important the right people can get access to testing — so please don’t rush to a centre if you are well, or if you weren’t at one of the locations of interest.

If you were at the locations of interest at the times stated, you need to get a test, and remain isolated until you receive the result.

If you have symptoms but have not been to a location of interest stay home and call Healthline for advice. A COVID-19 test is free wherever you go.

Face masks

Just a reminder that at Alert Level 1 and Alert Level 2 it is now mandatory for everyone to wear a mask on public transport. This includes all domestic flights, buses, trains, and ferries except for the larger Cook Strait ferries. Children under 12 are exempt.

The decision on the use of face masks will be reviewed on Monday.