Positive cases linked to Pullman Hotel to be re-tested

Two more people in the community who recently left managed isolation have tested positive for Covid-19 and health officials are now urgently re-testing the pair.

The Ministry of Health said in a statement this evening that two other former returnees who completed their managed isolation at the Pullman Hotel at the same time as the Northland community case were now under investigation.

The pair were asymptomatic and had already completed their managed isolation and previously returned two negative tests, the ministry said.

Both individuals were currently self-isolating at home.

"As a precaution, Public Health staff are checking details with the individuals about their movements since they left managed isolation to identify close and casual contacts if contact tracing is required.

"The two former returnees both returned a positive test for Covid-19, however it is yet to be confirmed if they are recent or historic infections. Further urgent testing is being carried out this evening."

The Pullman Hotel, in Auckland, is where the latest community case spent two weeks in managed isolation. The woman, a 56-year-old from Northland, tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday. All of her close contacts have since tested negative.

The revelations follow claims from MP Hone Harawira this afternoon that there are two more Covid-19 cases in the community in Auckland's Orewa.

Harawira told Newstalk ZB and says the information is from "multiple and impeccable sources".

Harawira said he did not know why the Ministry had been stonewalling media outlets seeking confirmation of the Covid cases.

Harawira said he wouldn't reveal the sources from whom he had been told that there were new Covid cases.

On Sunday, the Government announced the first community case of the virus since November after a Northland woman tested positive for Covid-19 after leaving managed isolation.

She had spent two weeks in MIQ at Auckland's Pullman Hotel. She left MIQ on January 13, developed mild symptoms on January 15 and was tested a week later on January 22.

The woman visited 30 locations of interest across southern Northland including retail outlets, restaurants, cafe and supermarkets.

Earlier today director general of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said there were "encouraging signs" in Northland but the situation was still unfolding.

"We're not breathing out just yet."

The close contacts of the Northland woman will remain in isolation for the full 14 days despite testing negative.

The 353 guests at the Pullman Hotel at the same time as the woman are being contacted and tested - so far all staff and guests have tested negative.

There are also four new cases in managed isolation facilities today. The total number of active cases is 68 - including the one in the community.

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