Border worker among 6 new Covid cases

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
There are six new cases of Covid-19 today including a border worker linked to the November quarantine cluster.

The border worker, who is already in quarantine, is a close contact of one of the cases from the November cluster. There are now six cases in the cluster.

Despite the new community case, the Health Ministry said this afternoon that the cluster was contained.

Health officials said this person was self-isolating at home from November 7, and chose to transfer to managed isolation five days later. They had a negative day five test and are now confirmed as a case today after returning a positive test around day 12.

They remain in the managed isolation facility in Wellington. All close contacts have been followed up, tested and returned negative results.

There are now active cases in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Results of genome sequencing for today's case, known as case F, are expected on Monday.

"We have the best chance of staying ahead of Covid-19 if everyone who becomes unwell with cold or flu like symptoms stays at home and seeks a test quickly, and all New Zealanders are keeping track of where they've been and who they've seen," the ministry said.

It continued to encourage anyone who visited a location of interest during the relevant time period for the November cluster to get tested to ensure officials could quickly identify anyone who might have been infected.


The Ministry of Health gave details about the other five new cases:

  • Two people arrived from Qatar on November 17. They returned a positive result to routine day 3 testing and were being today transferred to Auckland’s quarantine facility.
  • One person arrived from Germany via Qatar and Australia on November 10. They returned a positive result following a series of previous tests returning inconclusive results and has been transferred to quarantine facility in Auckland.
  • Two people arrived from the United States on November 14.  They have now returned a positive test and are in quarantine in Christchurch.

There are four additional recovered cases, meaning there are 42 active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand and the total number of cases now stands at 1663.

Yesterday laboratories processed 7014 tests for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 1,224,397.


The November cluster began when a Defence Force worker at the Jet Park quarantine facility tested positive (Case A).

The worker met another Defence Force worker (Case B) in Auckland. That person then flew to Wellington the following day, and did not wear a mask on the flight. This person is the close contact of today's case.

Case B ate at Malaysian restaurant Little Penang on the Terrace. Another Defence Force worker (Case C) was at the lunch and also contracted the virus.

Then, an AUT student (Case D) aged in her 20s who works at the A-Z Collections store in the CBD, tested positive. She was genomically linked to the Defence worker who was infected at the quarantine hotel.

And last Friday, a neighbour (Case E) who lives in the same apartment building as the Auckland student with Covid-19 returned a "weak positive" test for coronavirus.

The cluster continues to vex health officials who are yet to work out how Case A became infected working at a quarantine facility transmitted the disease to the inner-city tertiary student.

Health authorities yesterday revealed they were still continuing to follow up contacts from existing cases that were part of this cluster.


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