4 cases of COVID-19
19/02/2021 10:45:43 a.m.

 Thursday 18 February 2021

Today we are reporting 3 cases of COVID-19 in managed isolation.

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 our numbers today.

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

The three cases we 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.

We do remind all students and staff at the school 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 our 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 we can understand any risk in the community.

For the latest information on locations of interest, and to understand if you are a casual or close contact, please see here

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 we are leaving no stone 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, we have decided to review other cases that have a similar genome. The closest one we have on record relates to a case from December at the Four Points by Sheraton managed isolation facility in Auckland.

While ESR have advised us 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.

As said 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 our investigations and so we can confidently rule out possibilities in order to narrow our 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 www.arphs.health.nz/covid19test.

For up to date info on all testing locations nationwide, visit www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19/

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.

New border case details
Arrival date From Via Positive test day/reason Managed isolation/quarantine location
09 Feb United Kingdom Ireland and UAE Around day 7 / close contact Auckland
09 Feb United Kingdom Ireland and UAE Around day 7 / close contact Auckland
13 Feb India UAE Around day 3 / routine testing Auckland


Seven previously reported cases have now recovered. The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 46. Our total number of confirmed cases is 1,988.

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,629,853.

On Wednesday, 16,640 tests were processed. The seven-day rolling average up to yesterday is 8,023 tests processed.

Historical cases
Since January 1, there have now been 29 historical cases, out of a total of 178 cases.

NZ COVID Tracer
NZ COVID Tracer now has 2,649,721 registered users.

Poster scans have reached 184,485,000 and users have created 7,538,005 manual diary entries.

It’s critical to keep track of where you’ve been and the COVID Tracer app is an easy way to do this. Please continue to scan QR codes wherever you go and turn on Bluetooth tracing in the app dashboard if you haven’t already done so.

ENDS