Second case linked to COVID outbreak at Auckland quarantine facility

Auckland: New Zealand has reported a second positive case of COVID-19 following the infection of a worker at a managed isolation facility that was announced on Thursday.

Because the new case has been self-isolating at home since being identified as a close contact late last week, there is considered to be very little additional risk to the community, New Zealand’s Ministry of Health announced on Sunday evening.

The person had returned an earlier negative test before returning a positive test on Sunday.

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern and Minister for COVID-19 Response, Chris Hipkins.Credit:Getty Images

The worker and their partner moved to the Auckland quarantine facility on Sunday afternoon.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced last week that a two-way quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia would begin at midnight on Sunday, April 18.

The results of whole genome sequencing for the case reported late on Thursday have now been received and show a genomic link with a cleaner at the Grand Millennium isolation facility, who tested positive for COVID-19 on March 21 – which was previously reported.

The cleaner, known as Case A, and the worker who tested positive last week, are genomically linked to a returnee who arrived back in New Zealand on March 13, the ministry announced on Sunday.

Due to this genomic link with the cleaner, Case A, the worker who tested positive last week will be known as Case B, and Sunday’s case will be referred to as Case C.

The investigation into how Case B became infected is ongoing.

More to come

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