New Zealand reports first new community coronavirus case with no link to its border regime since August

New Zealand health authorities have revealed two new community cases of COVID-19, including one without a known transmission source.

New Zealand Government Gives Coronavirus Update After Two New Cases Are Confirmed

New Zealand Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield speaks to media during a press conference Source: Getty Images

Aucklanders are being urged not to panic after New Zealand health authorities announced a new case of COVID-19 in the community without a link to the country's border regime.

It is the first case that cannot be drawn to the country's managed isolation (MIQ) facilities since August, when a new cluster formed and infected 179 people, killing three.

COVID-19 Minister Chris Hipkins said it was too soon to suggest the infected person would trigger an outbreak.

"Panic never helps with COVID-19. We're still in the very early stages of this case investigation," he said.

Mr Hipkins said the afternoon would be spent gathering more information about the case and the person's movements, with a further update at 5pm NZDT on Thursday.

That could include a decision on whether to return Auckland to lockdown, as occurred for 16 days in August.

The newly infected person is a student at Auckland University of Technology, who resides in the Auckland CBD.

Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the person "lives alone and appears to have had limited community outings recently".

However they did go to work from Sunday to Wednesday while infectious - at 'A-Z Collections', a CBD fashion boutique.

Given the person was tested on Tuesday afternoon, they have acted against advice to self-isolate while displaying symptoms.

Dr Bloomfield refused to criticise the person for doing so, saying it was too early to reach conclusions.

"This is a very important reminder of why anyone with any symptoms of a cold or flu get tested and our request is to stay home until you get the results of that test," he said.

University of Auckland professor Shaun Hendy said the case was "quite concerning".

"If a link can't be established then we may be looking at a larger outbreak and this might require raising the alert level in Auckland," he said.

Mr Hipkins also refused to criticise, saying "people are not the problem. People are the solution. It is the virus that is the problem". 

The person has been moved to Auckland's quarantine facility, the Jet Park Hotel.

New Zealand also recorded a second community case on Thursday in Wellington, an already-isolating close contact of a defence force worker with links to a quarantine facility.

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3 min read
Published 12 November 2020 at 3:49pm
Source: AAP, SBS