NZ Lockdown Extended Till Tuesday August 24

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced this afternoon that the current nationwide lockdown that is in Day 3 will be extended until 11.59 pm Tuesday August 24.

11 new cases of COVID-19 in the New Zealand community have been confirmed today. It brings the total number of cases associated with the current Auckland community outbreak to 31. All cases have or are being transferred safely to a managed isolation facility under strict infection prevention and control procedures, including the use of full PPE.

Of the 11 new cases, eight are in Auckland and three are in Wellington. The three in Wellington had recently travelled to Auckland and visited a location of interest there.

The international Air New Zealand crew member, reported yesterday, has now been confirmed as a border-related case, and not linked to the Auckland outbreak based on the results of whole genome sequencing.

Nineteen cases are now confirmed as part of the Auckland outbreak, with the remaining 12 under investigation to confirm the linkage to the outbreak. Initial assessment shows in most cases there is a plausible link.

Of the 11 new community cases reported today:

·        One case is in a family bubble with a case reported yesterday
·        One case is in a family bubble with a case reported on Wednesday
·        One case is in a family bubble with a case also reported on Wednesday
·        Two of the cases we are reporting today are also in a family bubble together.

Public health officials are currently conducting interviews to establish how the new cases were infected and to determine further details of their movements. We will continue to release this information as it becomes available.

In addition, there are two new cases in recent returnees in a managed isolation facility.

Image credit: Ministry of Health/NZ Government