Coronavirus: Two new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand's managed isolation facilities

There are two new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand's managed isolation and quarantine facilities, the Ministry of Health announced in a statement on Monday.

The first case is a male teenager who arrived in New Zealand from the USA on July 29. His infection was detected due to routine testing at around day three of his stay in managed isolation at the Sudima Hotel in Auckland. The teen has since been transferred to Auckland's quarantine facility.

The second case is a man in his 20s, who arrived in New Zealand from Switzerland, via Amsterdam and Seoul, on July 20. He had been staying at the Sudima Hotel in Christchurch and tested negative at around day three of his stay. He returned a positive result following his second routine test in managed isolation.

"This case again emphasises the importance of testing returnees in managed isolation twice before they are able to leave the facility," the Ministry of Health said in Monday's statement.

There are now 27 active cases of the virus, all of which were detected in managed isolation and quarantine facilities. None of the patients are receiving hospital-level care for their infections.

Monday's cases bring New Zealand's confirmed case total to 1217.

It has been 94 days since the last case of COVID-19 was acquired locally from an unknown source, indicating there is no evidence of community transmission.


Laboratories processed 1692 COVID-19 tests on Sunday, of which 1259 swabs were taken in the community and 433 swabs were taken in managed isolation or quarantine facilities.

In a statement, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield reiterated that testing rates need to increase across the country.

"There is still a pandemic raging around the globe and while our strict border controls form our first line of defence from the virus, we need to be sure it has not crept undetected into our communities," he said.

The results from a recent survey of general practitioners showed that half of the 800 participating GPs had seen patients who declined a test. The survey found that the proportion of patients that declined was, on average, 25 percent.

"To ensure that if there is a case out there it is detected prior to it spreading, patients must present to a care provider, be offered a test, and accept that test," Dr Bloomfield said.

Following the announcement that a man who travelled from Christchurch to South Korea had returned a positive test on arrival, Queenstown residents have been urged to get tested as the man had spent time in the resort town prior to his international flight. 

Testing of both symptomatic and non-symptomatic Queenstown locals will help to confirm there is no community transmission as a result of the man's stay.

A pop-up testing site will be set up at the Pak 'n Save carpark in Frankton on Tuesday, August 4 from 9am to 5pm.

NZ COVID Tracer app

The Government's offical contact tracing app, NZ COVID Tracer, has now recorded 626,400 registered users. To date there have been 82,660 posters created, which have been scanned more than 1.8 million times.

There have been 22,916 manual entries into the app.

Investigations into travellers from NZ who tested positive

The Ministry of Health has recently investigated two incidents where travellers from New Zealand tested positive for COVID-19

The first investigation involved a woman who transited through Auckland from Los Angeles to Sydney on July 6. Health officials have not identified any close contacts who need to be traced or tested, although the ministry continues to work with the airline and airport.

The second investigation involved a woman who travelled from Auckland to Sydney on July 20. Contact tracing has now concluded, the ministry confirmed. All close contacts have been tested and returned negative results. Officials believe the woman may have been a previously undetected case from March or April, which is likely to have led to the positive test result.

"We work closely with other countries to get formal notification of positive test results and discuss the implications of those when they occur," the ministry said in Monday's statement.

"We follow any of these up with a risk-based assessment but we do have to confirm these test results formally.

"This process avoids unnecessary confusion around situations which may not represent cause for general public health concern in this country."