Wear a mask, scan in and get tested: Health officials urge Kiwis to be cautious after new case of COVID-19 found

New Zealanders are being urged to stay calm, scan in with the COVID-tracer app and wear their masks as health officials scramble to trace the source of a new community case of COVID-19.

The case was identified early on Tuesday afternoon and the Ministry of Health says it has no link to managed isolation or the border.

Epidemiologist Michael Baker says it's safe to assume the new case is the Delta variant - meaning a swift lockdown would be almost inevitable.

"We can be fairly certain this will be the Delta variant as that is the dominant strain of the virus at present… If there is not an obvious source we would expect a very intense lockdown at this stage."

More information on the nature of the COVID-19 case is expected later on Tuesday.

Baker says it's crucial people keep up with washing and sanitizing their hands, but as the Delta variant is aerosol transmitted - meaning it can spread long distances through the air - the best thing to do is wear a mask.

"It's good to wash your hands, use hand sanitiser, but the big thing we need to be doing is wearing a mask so we're not firing out these particles and it protects you if someone else is breathing them out."

Dr Siouxsie Wiles echoed Baker's sentiment on Twitter, saying New Zealanders shouldn't panic.

"Stay calm, scan, and mask up. And be kind to yourselves and each other."

She also thanked the latest COVID-19 case for getting tested, saying it was "gold-star" behaviour.

"Please if you have any symptoms that could be COVID-19 - things like cold and flu-like symptoms and loss of sense of smell, GET TESTED!

Follow Newshub's live updates of the developing COVID-19 situation here.