Chances of latest COVID-19 case spreading 'quite low' - disease modeller Shaun Hendy

The latest case of COVID-19 is no reason to panic, says disease modeller Shaun Hendy.

The border-related case was detected in an Air New Zealand crew member on Sunday night - just hours after Auckland shifted from level 3 to level 2.

Hendy told The AM Show on Monday the case's early detection means chances of transmission are low.

"Last week Auckland was at alert level 3 so the chances of it spreading are quite low."

The latest case only generated one location of interest - the Auckland Airport Countdown on March 3 between 12:07pm and 1:22pm.

Anyone who was at the store at this time is asked to monitor their health for the next 10 days, which is until March 17.

Hendy says it's unlikely the virus would have spread around the supermarket but it can't be ruled out entirely - so hopefully people in the Countdown were wearing masks and had signed in using the COVID tracer app.

"There's no such thing as zero risk but this is relatively straightforward."

The risk is that this case was what's known as a "super spreader" - but even then, the supermarket would not be considered a hugely high risk environment. 

"Some people shed more virus than others and it's coupled with the environment they're in," said Hendy.

" [If] someone who sheds a lot of virus goes into a bar, or a church and sings, or a loud environment where they have to shout - that's what causes those large scale spreads."

The infected case's three household family members were tested on Sunday and their results are negative.

Fourteen other air crew on the same journey as the latest case are in the process of being contacted, isolated, and retested.

Results from genome sequencing are expected on Tuesday, the ministry says, which will help rule out any local transmission.