Coronavirus: No new community COVID-19 cases in NZ but two more caught at border

There are no new COVID-19 community cases.
There are no new COVID-19 community cases. Photo credit: Getty

New Zealand has gone 16 days without a community COVID-19 case, the Ministry of Health has announced - but another two new cases have been detected at the border.

The latest coronavirus data was released on Tuesday afternoon, revealing the country's latest cases were both confined to managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities.

The total number of active cases in New Zealand now stands at 95.

The new MIQ cases include a person from India who arrived in the country via the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, and another who flew in direct from the United States on Monday.

Another 2822 tests were processed by laboratories on Monday, taking the total number of tests completed to 1,824,252.

Wastewater samples 'good evidence' Papatoetoe threat is over

The Ministry of Health says four wastewater samples - three from a site linked to Papatoetoe and one from a wider wastewater collection point that includes Papatoetoe - have returned negative results for COVID-19.

The results, which were returned on Monday night last night, follow a weak positive test result detected on Friday in routine wastewater sampling at the site linked to Papatoetoe. That was assessed as not posing a risk to the community.

"The most likely explanation for the weak positive detection is continued shedding of the virus from the recovered COVID-19 cases from the February cluster who have returned home from the Auckland quarantine facility," the ministry explained in a statement.

"We know that people who have recently had COVID-19 may continue to shed fragments of the virus for some weeks after they have recovered, without being infectious to others.

"Wastewater sampling can detect these fragments, which are not infectious, and their presence is not considered a risk to the community."

This is supported by results from geospatial mapping linking the homes of the community cases to the catchment area where the sample was taken, the ministry adds.

"The new negative wastewater testing results also provide good evidence to support this."