New Zealand is placed on high alert as it records three positive Covid tests after 21 consecutive days without any cases
- Three members South Auckland family tested positive to Covid-19 on Sunday
- Aucklanders could face lockdown as politicians meet to discuss the new cases
- The mother is a worker at LSG Sky Chefs, an airport laundry and catering facility
- The daughter is a student at Papatoetoe High School, which has been closed
- New Zealand’s last case of community transmission was a woman on January 24
New Zealand has recorded three new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 after 21 days without any community transmissions.
Three members of a South Auckland family – a father, mother and daughter – tested positive for the virus on Sunday.
Aucklanders could be set for a new COVID-19 lockdown amid the latest discovery, which has prompted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to return to Wellington for briefings.
COVID-19 Minister Chris Hipkins said health officials were moving rapidly to test and isolate close contacts.
Aucklanders could be set for a new COVID-19 lockdown after recording three new cases of community transmission for the first time in 21 days. Pictured: : Nurses speak to people waiting in line outside a pop up Covid-19 testing station in Freyberg Place in November
The mother’s employer LSG Sky Chefs, an airport laundry and catering facility at Auckland airport, has been listed as an exposure site
‘There is a number of gaps in our knowledge around these cases,’ he said.
Mr Hipkins said Auckland remained at alert level one, but government officials would meet later on Sunday to discuss next moves – which could include a fresh lockdown.
‘There are still a lot of questions here … this is a precautionary measure,’ he said.
‘Having the prime minister in Wellington means we can make decisions quickly. At this stage we don’t know whether we need to.’
The mother works at works at LSG Sky Chefs, an airport laundry and catering facility at Auckland airport, while the daughter is a student at Papatoetoe High School.
The venues along with supermarket Pak n Save Manukau, in Cavendish Drive, have been listed as exposure sites, Stuff reports.
The school is undergoing deep cleaning and will be closed on Monday and Tuesday as a precaution, with a testing facility to be set up on the campus.
Another family member from their household is currently undergoing testing.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured) has returned to Wellington for briefings after three members of a South Auckland family tested positive
Papatoetoe High School (pictured) has been closed and a testing facility will be erected on the campus for members of the school community
Health authorities are conducting genomic sequencing on the family to determine whether they are infected with one of the more transmissible variants reported overseas.
Another case of coronavirus was recorded on Sunday in managed isolation, bringing the daily total to four.
Manukau ward councillor Alf Filipaina has urged members of the community to come forward for testing.
‘In south Auckland, our community are just more vulnerable than any other,’ he said.
‘I’m saying to people, get tested, it has to be. We don’t want to end up to where were were (during the last outbreak).’
The new cases come a day after New Zealand’s first COVID-related death in five months and three weeks since the country’s last case of community transmission, a woman who tested positive on January 24 after leaving hotel quarantine.
On Saturday, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said a person tested positive for the virus while in mandatory isolation died after being moved to North Shore Hospital in Auckland.
The fatality was New Zealand’s 26th COVID-related death through the pandemic.
Sunday’s infections are the first locally acquired cases in New Zealand since January 24 Pictured: A person walks through the CBD on October 8 in Auckland