Coronavirus: Three new cases of COVID-19 found in MIQ, another suspected

Three new cases of COVID-19 have been picked up in isolation facilities among returning Kiwis, the Ministry of Health said on Saturday.

And a person who lived in the same building as the woman who tested positive for the virus this week has had a weak positive result, prompting further testing and a call for everyone who's been at locations of interest to get tested, regardless of their symptoms.

The first from overseas arrived from Romania via Qatar and Australia on November 3, testing positive on day 12. The second arrived from Australia on November 1, and the third from the UK on November 12, testing positive on arrival.

"We are also reporting today a weak positive test result in a close contact who is already in Auckland’s quarantine facility," the ministry said in a statement.

"This individual lived in a neighbouring apartment in Vincent St apartments," where the infected AUT student lived. 

"The individual’s initial test result was negative, but a subsequent test has today returned a weak positive result. A further test is now being taken. They are currently regarded as a case under investigation."

Local health officials are now tracing that person's contacts.

On Friday, 5400 tests for the virus were done in Auckland alone, out of the country's 6320 total. The total number of cases is now 1643, with 56 of them active. 

"A full list of testing sites in Auckland is available on the Auckland Regional Public Health Service website," the ministry said. 

Anyone who was at any of the sites of interest should also get a test. 

"This is an enhanced surveillance tactic to ensure we are not missing any cases who may be asymptomatic. The list of locations can change as more information becomes available."

More than 1 million scans of the COVID Tracer app were done on Friday, the most since October 1.

"It is encouraging to see that many New Zealanders are responding to the call to get back into the habit of scanning the QR codes. The ministry continues to encourage everyone to scan the QR codes wherever they see them, as the more we all scan, the safer we'll all be."

Being able to trace contacts quickly can prevent the need for raising the alert level.