Saturday, July 31

New Zealand records two new community cases of COVID-19

The couple are siblings who attend Papatoetoe High School in south Auckland.

One is a close contact of the existing student case.

One of three COVID-19 cases announced Sunday was a student at Papatoetoe High School. (Abigail Dougherty / Stuff)

The two new cases were announced ahead of the usual 1 p.m. (local time) announcement by COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins at today’s health screening committee.

Mr. Hipkins said that out of 31 close contacts at the school, there were 28 negatives and two sets of results were pending.

Of the general school population, officials asked 1,523 people to be tested.

Of those, 1,089 results were obtained, of which one was positive and 433 were still pending, Hipkins said.

Chief Health Officer Dr. Ashley Bloomfield said one of the new cases was a classmate of the student who had tested positive.

She was being treated as a close contact and isolated, as were her family members.

The two new COVID-19 cases were announced ahead of the usual 1 p.m. announcement by COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins on the health screening committee today. (Getty)

The other case was that of his brother, who was classified as a casual contact plus because he was a student at the school.

“But in this case, the chain of transmission is more likely from our original case to the classmate, who then passed it on to her brother,” said Dr. Bloomfield.

“Obviously, we will look very carefully if there are other positive tests coming out of high school among those casual contacts plus.”

All household contacts for the two new cases would be evaluated if they had not already been made, said Dr. Bloomfield.

“Then we go back to 48 hours before they were deemed infectious, which is before the onset of symptoms or a positive test.

“We look to see if there are any exposure events, a bit like we have done with all the other cases, and then we will send out the notifications about possible exposure events. Those people will be asked to isolate themselves and get tested.”

There are two new community cases of COVID-19 in Auckland, New Zealand, linked to the three community cases announced on Sunday. (Archive)

Two of the three family members at the center of the outbreak had traveled to New Plymouth before experiencing symptoms or realizing they had COVID-19.

Most of the travel-related test results came back and all were negative.

Two results from a lodging location were yet to come, Hipkins said.

Auckland is currently at alert level three, while the rest of the country is at alert level two.

A briefing to announce any changes or extensions to current levels is expected at 4.30pm (local time) today.

Auckland residents, including students, are asked to stay home.

Those identified as contacts or who were in the sights are asked to take the test.

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