New Zealand has new cases of COVID-19 from community transmission

The Ministry of Health has confirmed New Zealand has cases of COVID-19 community transmission - four members of a family living in south Auckland.

As a precautionary measure, Auckland is entering into Alert Level 3 from midday on Wednesday for three days. The rest of the country goes to Alert Level 2.

The family has no history of international travel.

The first person is in their 50s.

"That person was swabbed yesterday when they presented to their general practitioner with symptoms," Dr Ashley Bloomfield said.

"That test was processed twice and returned positive. A second swab taken today also returned a positive result."

He said health authorities "sprung into action" and all of the family members residing in the same household - all six- were tested.

"Three of the six have returned positive test results, the other three were negative."

Dr Bloomfield confirmed close contacts are being tested including work colleagues of those who have tested positive.

"If you are offered a test please take it," Dr Bloomfield urged Aucklanders.

"We have been saying for some weeks this was inevitable that New Zealand would get another case of community transmission. This is a tricky virus.

"The health system is well prepared and the main thing now is that we stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community."

Bloomfield said there are several things all New Zealanders need to do now.

  • go back to stringent hygiene e.g. washing hands regularly
  • if unwell, stay at home and go to your GP and get a COVID-19 test
  • physical distancing of two metres where possible
  • consider wearing a mask in spaces where you can't physically distance

He also asked Kiwis to download the COVID Tracer App.

Jacinda Ardern asked New Zealanders to look after each other and to check on neighbours.

"We will get through this."