What we know about the outbreak cases

Health authorities have had a re-think about people in managed isolation getting out for some...
The earliest case found to date was a worker at the Americold cool store in Mt Wellington who became sick on about July 31. Photo: Getty Images
A University of Auckland student has tested positive for Covid-19.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater said the risk to staff and other students was believed to be low as the student hadn't been on campus since the end of July and doesn't live in student accommodation.

Freshwater said the university had detailed contingency plans in place to respond to different situations that might arise as a result of Covid-19.

"Safety of our students and staff is of paramount importance and we will be closely following the guidance of the Ministries of Health and Education," she said.

University staff and students have been informed of the confirmed case.

The announcement comes after an engineering student who studied at Manukau Institute of Technology in South Auckland and a pupil at Glamorgan School in Torbay both tested positive for Covid-19. A Mt Albert Grammar student has also tested positive but is doing well in recovery, the school's principal says.

Mt Albert Primary School in Auckland has also closed as a precaution because a student there lived at a house where a number of people have tested positive for Covid-19.

A further two schools in Māngere East have confirmed cases of the virus.

Here's what we know about the cases confirmed since the country's first case of community transmission for more than 100 days:

The first cases (four people)

The earliest case found to date was a worker at the Americold cool store in Mt Wellington who became sick on about July 31.

The outbreak was discovered after a woman in her 50s went to the doctor with symptoms and was tested on Monday, August 10.

A second swab on Tuesday, August 11 confirmed the positive result. Three family members also tested positive (her husband, also in his 50s, a woman in her 20s and a baby boy).

The wife worked at Finance Now on Dominion Rd and the husband at Americold (his colleague was the person who fell sick on July 31).

The woman in her 20s and three other family members, including the baby boy who tested positive, had travelled to Rotorua and Taupō from August 8-11.

The family checked into Wai Ora Lakeside Hotel at 3.30pm on August 8. They had dinner at the Herbs and Spice Thai Restaurant at 8pm that evening.

The following day at 2.30pm they visited the Pak'nSave supermarket at Amohau St in Rotorua, before visiting Heritage Farm and 3D Art Gallery at 3.30pm. At 4pm they were at the Skyline Gondola and Luge.

On the morning of Monday, August 10 they drove to Taupō and took a trip with Sail Barbary Eco Sailing, before going back to the Heritage Farm and 3D Art Gallery at 3pm. That night they ate at Burger Fuel Redwood Centre in Rotorua about 7pm.

On Tuesday morning and on their drive back home they stopped at an undisclosed petrol station at 9am.

Cases announced on Thursday, August 13 (13 confirmed and one probable, total of 17 confirmed community cases)

Thirteen confirmed cases were announced by the ministry, and all were in Auckland and linked to the four people from the original family:

  • Three of the new cases are employees of Americold. Another seven cases are family members of those employees.
  • Another person is an employee of Finance Now. They were admitted to and later discharged from North Shore Hospital. Their family member also tested positive.

Cases included school students:

  • A student at Mount Albert Grammar and a relative of the previously announced cases.
  • A student at Glamorgan School (a primary school) in Torbay.
  • A 6-year-old boy attending Southern Cross Campus.
  • A preschooler at the Taeaofou i Puaseisei Preschool on Winthrop Way, in Māngere East. The preschool is on the grounds of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa Māngere East Puaseisei.

Up to 300 people who attended church on Sunday have been urged to get tested for Covid-19 urgently after several members of a family at the congregation tested positive, including the preschooler's parents and at least one other child.

Reverend Victor Pouesi told the Herald he understood that one of the preschooler's parents works with a family member of one of the initial family-of-four confirmed to have Covid-19.

Cases announced on Friday, August 14 (12 confirmed and one probable, total of 30 confirmed community cases)

On Friday, 12 new confirmed cases were announced, and one probable case. The confirmed cases range in age from a teenager to an Auckland man aged over 70.

• Two of the cases are in Tokoroa, one woman aged 15-19 and another woman aged 40-49. They are a close contact of one of the Auckland cases (an Americold worker announced as a case on Thursday) who stayed the night after also travelling to Morrinsville and visiting Kingswood rest home. Other family members in the Tokoroa home have tested negative. Iwi are helping work through quarantine arrangements.

• All of the new cases are linked to the existing cluster, except for a confirmed case who is in Auckland City Hospital. That case was the last to be confirmed and investigations into it only got under way on Friday morning.

Former Cook Islands Prime Minister and doctor in Auckland hospital

Dr Joseph WIlliams, 82, is a well-know doctor within the Pacific community; particularly Cook Islanders.

It is not yet known whether the doctor has come into contact with someone from the initial family of four who tested positive to the virus earlier this week.

However, Dr WIlliams' medical practice is near the Americold cool store where a 50-year-old man from that South Auckland family works.

The Cook Islands News reported that the 82-year-old's admission to hospital resulted in the rushed cancellation of an Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to the Cook Islands scheduled this morning.

The newspaper said up to 41 people bound for the island nation were booked on the flight and there were fears some might have been exposed to the virus and could potentially take it to the Cook Islands.

New Zealand's Ministry of Health said last night: "The MoH is currently working closely with its counterparts in the Cook Islands to mitigate any potential risk of Covid-19 entering that country."

Air New Zealand released a statement saying consultation with health officials had resulted in the airline cancelling the Rarotonga-bound flight.

Dr Williams served as the Cook Islands Prime Minister for four months in 1999. He earlier served as the country's Health Minister.

His work in New Zealand, as a general practitioner and health professional, resulted in him being recognised with a Queen's Service Order appointment after more than 50 years of service.

MIT and Snowplanet

Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) students have been told a student studying in TechPark's general engineering area based at South Campus, Ōtara, has tested positive, but was not on campus while they were infectious.

And Snowplanet in Silverdale on the North Shore has confirmed a casual worker had tested positive. The man last worked at Snowplanet on Wednesday, August 5 and later tested positive to Covid-19 on Tuesday, August 11.

"We've been advised by the Ministry of Health that it is highly unlikely he was infected at the time he was working for us at Snowplanet and so the risk of infection for staff and customers is very low," director of snow sports and slope operation Brad Alywin said.

"Nevertheless, through caution, we've advised staff to isolate for three days, and if they are showing symptoms to get tested and checked."

Two Noel Leeming stores on the North Shore - Albany and Wairau Park - have also been told someone who tested positive had visited over the weekend.

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