Coronavirus: One new community case, sibling of casual-plus contact

The new case was tested on Friday and the result was received on Saturday afternoon.
The new case was tested on Friday and the result was received on Saturday afternoon. Photo credit: Getty.

The Prime Minister and Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will hold a press conference at 9pm. Newshub and Three will livestream that.

There is one new case of COVID-19 in the community, the older sibling of a Papatoetoe High School student who is a casual-plus contact.

Interviews are now underway to establish how the case was infected.

The Papatoetoe High School student had previously returned three negative tests for COVID-19 and is asymptomatic. 

The ministry has released new locations of interest. Click here for more.

"Testing of the household of five is underway. Test results for the other family members are expected this evening," the Ministry of Health says. 

"Genome sequencing is currently underway and is expected later this evening and will provide us with more information.

"Case M developed symptoms on Tuesday February 23. As a result, the person is regarded as being potentially infectious from Sunday February 21."

The new case was tested on Friday and the result was received on Saturday afternoon. It's the 13th linked to the February cluster.

The ministry describes the individual as the sibling of a casual-plus contact. A casual-plus contact is someone who has "had exposure to a case, but who [does] not meet the criteria of a Close Contact".

"Their contact occurred where there is higher risk for transmission/spread including variant cases."

Most Papatoetoe High School students and staff have been considered casual-plus contacts. As of 8am on Saturday, of 1525 casual plus contacts at the school, 1515 had returned at least one negative test since February 15 and three previously reported cases had tested positive.

"All casual plus contacts have been undergoing a follow-up test on or after February 22. So far, all results from the additional testing have been negative," the Ministry of Health said at 1pm, before the new case was announced.

"We continue to work closely with the school to ensure all staff and students are tested."

More information is expected in the coming hours.

"There are a number of locations of interest, details of which will be available on the Ministry’s website and will be updated progressively from this evening.

"The Ministry’s website will also include advice on what to do if you were at any of these locations at the time when you could potentially have been exposed.

"Please only call Healthline if you were potentially exposed."