Auckland back in Alert Level 3 lockdown, rest of country Level 2 from 6am Sunday

updated By Te Ao - Māori News

LATEST: The Ministry of Health says it got the wrong south Auckland polytechnic campus in its latest list of contact tracing locations of interest.

A community Covid-19 case is a student at the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT).

The ministry's list of contact tracing locations of interest, released on Saturday night, initially said the individual had visited the Ōtara campus, at 53 Ōtara Road, on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

In fact, he had visited the Manukau campus, at the corner of Manukau Station Rd and Davies Ave, Manukau, Auckland. The ministry apologised.

Two new Covid-19 cases have been detected in the community in South Auckland and announced on Saturday night. Genomic testing results are expected on Sunday.

The first case today is of a Papatoetoe High School student who was a 'casual plus' contact.

The person is an older sibling of a student at Papatoetoe High School student who was a 'casual plus' contact. The student has tested negative for Covid-19 on three separate occasions. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed some frustration that this afternoon's case went to the GP in the afternoon for a Covid test - but went to a gym after that.

Health officials tonight said there was another community case - the mother of Saturday afternoon's case. She is asymptomatic but isolating.

The afternoon case developed symptoms on Tuesday. As a result, the person is regarded as being potentially infectious from Sunday, February 21.

Genome testing is underway - and there is a strong assumption that it is from the current cluster.  But that cannot be confirmed yet.

The prime minister says Auckland will need to move to alert level 3 for seven days, and the rest of New Zealand will move to alert level 2. Public venues will be closed and sports including Round the Bays will be cancelled.

Aucklanders should stay at home and in their bubble, she says. They should work from home where possible, and maintain social distancing. Children are being asked to stay home from school.

Police are now setting up borders around Auckland again. 

New locations of interest:

  • Hunters Plaza, Papatoetoe, February 26 between 2.55pm-5pm
  • Burger King, Highland Park, on February 25, 8pm-9pm
  • Your Health Pharmacy, Papatoetoe, February 23, 2.45pm-3.50pm
  • Pak ‘N’ Save Manukau, February 21, 5.30pm-6.40pm
  • CityFitness, Papatoetoe, 26 February, 3.20pm-4.40pm and February 20, 12.20pm-1.45pm
  • Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT), Manukau Station Rd, February22  1pm - 6.30pm, February 24 12pm - 7.30pm, 25 February 11am - 7pm.

Anyone who visited these locations is to be considered a casual contact of a Covid case "out of an abundance of caution". 

Finance Minister Grant Robertson says the Ministry of Social Development has been providing support to the Papatoetoe area. He is asking anyone in the area who needs support to get in contact with the ministry. He says there are some families where a disruption like this would cause some families "significant concern".

Since the lockdown is more than seven days, business support now kick in and this will trigger the wage subsidy scheme nationwide to be paid in a lump sum.

The government has budgeted $400-500 million for the coming seven days.