New Zealand will move into alert level 4 from 11:59pm tonight, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.
At this stage, the country will remain at level 4 for three days, except Auckland and Coromandel, which will remain for seven days.
Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield confirmed the early reports that the case is a 58-year-old man in Devonport, Auckland. The infectious period started Thursday 12th August.
Genome sequencing has yet to confirm whether it is the Delta variant, but it is very likely. “We need to assume our case will be too,” said Ardern. Results will be through early tomorrow.
The man had yet to book his vaccination. The man was a frequent user of the Covid tracer app. His wife has been vaccinated and returned a negative result.
The couple travelled to Coromandel township from Friday morning, where they spent the weekend.
There are 23 locations of interest at this stage, 13 in coromandel and 10 in Auckland. More locations are being published in the Ministry of Health website.
Under alert level 4 lockdown, people are instructed to stay at home in their bubble. You are allowed to go outside for exercise, with one person in each household able to go to the supermarket.
All businesses are closed except for essential services. These include supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics, petrol stations and lifeline utilities. Health services, emergency services and goods transport will also remain up and running.
The case of COVID-19 was identified in the community in Auckland this afternoon.
The case is has been investigated, but the link between the case and the border or managed isolation is yet to be established.
“The Auckland Regional Public Health unit is undertaking interviews with the case for contact tracing purposes,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement earlier this afternoon.
“While we collect more specific information all New Zealanders are reminded of the basic public health measures of mask wearing and hand washing.
“In particular anyone in Auckland catching public transport this afternoon or who cannot socially distance in public spaces should wear a mask as a precaution.
“A hard and early response is the best tool to stamp out any potential spread and everyone in New Zealand is asked to stay calm, be kind and play their part while we gather more information on the potential case.”
A positive case of #COVID19 has been identified in the community early this afternoon and is now under investigation.
We will provide further updates once additional information comes to hand.https://t.co/7NhpXuydg2
— Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora (@minhealthnz) August 17, 2021
It comes after the ministry confirmed transmission between people at the Jet Park quarantine facility in Auckland today.
Transmission occurred from room doors being opened simultaneously for just seconds at the same time.
The Ministry of Health’s Deputy Director of Public Health Dr Harriette Carr said an investigation concluded there were no bubble breaches. “But it found that the three cases were genomically linked to a person in the room opposite, and not to the pre-existing case within their bubble of four people,” Dr Carr said.
“They found doors to rooms on opposite sides of the corridor were opened at the same time for about 3-5 seconds on four occasions between July 19 and 27, when a case in the room opposite would have been considered infectious.”