Three members of a South Auckland family – a father, mother and daughter – tested positive for the deadly virus on Sunday.
Aucklanders could be set for a new COVID-19 lockdown amid the latest discovery, which has prompted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to return to Wellington for briefings.
Aucklanders could be set for a new COVID-19 lockdown after recording three new cases of community transmission for the first time in 21 days. Pictured: : Nurses speak to people waiting in line outside a pop up Covid-19 testing station in Freyberg Place in November
The mother’s employer LSG Sky Chefs, an airport laundry and catering facility at Auckland airport, has been listed as an exposure site
COVID-19 Minister Chris Hipkins said health officials were moving rapidly to test and isolate close contacts.
‘There is a number of gaps in our knowledge around these cases,’ he said.
Mr Hipkins said Auckland remained at alert level one, but government officials would meet later on Sunday to discuss next moves – which could include a fresh lockdown.
‘There are still a lot of questions here … this is a precautionary measure,’ he said.
‘Having the prime minister in Wellington means we can make decisions quickly. At this stage we don’t know whether we need to.’
The mother works at works at LSG Sky Chefs, an airport laundry and catering facility at Auckland airport, while the daughter is a student at Papatoetoe High School.
The venues along with supermarket Pak n Save Manukau, in Cavendish Drive, have been listed as exposure sites,
The school will be closed on Monday and Tuesday as a precaution, and a testing facility will be set up on the campus.
Another family member from their household is currently undergoing testing.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured) has returned to Wellington for briefings after three members of a South Auckland family tested positive
Papatoetoe High School (pictured) has been closed and a testing facility will be erected on the campus for members of the school community
Health authorities are conducting genomic sequencing on the family to determine whether they are infected with one of the more transmissible variants reported overseas.
Another case of coronavirus was recorded on Sunday in managed isolation, bringing the daily total to four.
Manukau ward councillor Alf Filipaina has urged members of the community to come forward for testing.
‘In south Auckland, our community are just more vulnerable than any other,’ he said.
‘I’m saying to people, get tested, it has to be. We don’t want to end up to where were were (during the last outbreak).’