COVID-19: No new cases in the community, 11 in managed isolation

There are no new cases of COVID-19 in the community, the Ministry of Health said on Monday - however, 11 cases have been picked up in managed isolation facilities. 

All but one of the 11 cases arrived from India via the United Arab Emirates on March 27. All 10 individuals travelled on the same flight and returned positive results due to routine testing on arrival, also known as day 0. All are quarantining in Auckland.

The Ministry of Health said additional testing, including whole genome sequencing, will help to determine whether any of the cases are related.

Interviews and further testing will also indicate if any of the 10 individuals are historical cases, which are not considered to be infectious.

Data obtained since the beginning of the year suggests at least one in eight cases can be classified as historical. Since January 1, 2021, 42 out of 325 cases have been assessed as historical infections.    

"It's not uncommon to see some of the day 0/1 cases be reclassified as historical cases, which are not infectious. This is why we are continuing to publish the cumulative number of historical cases," a spokesperson for the Ministry said.

The outstanding case arrived from Italy via Singapore on March 26 and tested positive on day 1 of their stay in managed isolation.

The 11 new cases bring the total number of active infections in New Zealand to 86 and the total of confirmed cases to date to 2137.

"Today's managed isolation case numbers underscore the value of having the day 0/1 testing in place," the spokesperson said.

"All people arriving into New Zealand must remain in their rooms until those day 0/1 tests results come back."

Grand Mercure managed isolation facility update

Inquiries into the 'day 12' case at Auckland's Grand Mercure managed isolation facility continue.

Last week, it was announced that roughly 250 returnees released from the Grand Mercure this month were asked to seek another test due to concerns of transmission within the facility.

As at 9am on Monday, 236 of the 272 affected returnees have now been contacted and 235 have returned negative results so far.

One person has returned a positive result, which has been classified as a historical infection on the basis of further testing and serology results, the ministry said. 

The total number in this group has increased due to additional returnees taking an 'exit test' upon their release. They are required to isolate at home until the test has returned a negative result.

This additional step was in place until Monday, the ministry said, but has now been lifted for anyone leaving the facility from March 29 onwards.

Testing update

On Sunday, 2748 tests were processed, with 34,515 tests have been processed in the last week. The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,887,079.

For up-to-date information on testing locations nationwide is available on Healthpoint.


NZ COVID Tracer now has 2,767,434 registered users.

To date, QR code posters have been scanned 234,925,338 times and users have created 8,854,214 manual diary entries. There have been 797,481 poster scans in the last 24 hours to 1pm on Sunday.