Health authorities are investigating a case of COVID-19 found in Northland's community in a person who has left a MIQ facility.
This person left their facility about five days ago, according to the New Zealand Herald.
It has been just over two months since New Zealand's last case of community transmission.
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Minister for COVID-19 Response Chris Hipkins will give an update at 4pm where it is expected they'll provide more information on this latest case in the community.
What you need to know
- The person left managed isolation about five days ago, according to the Herald
- Hipkins says there is not yet evidence of community transmission in Northland, and reiterated the difference between this and a case of COVID-19 in the community
- In its regular 1pm case update, the Ministry of Health confirmed eight cases of COVID-19, but all of these were detected in managed isolation.
4:05pm - Hipkins is reminding Kiwis to use the COVID Tracer App - which includes turning on Bluetooth and scanning in - and to isolate while they're waiting on a test result.
The woman at the centre of this case used the app to scan in at every location she visitied, Hipkins says.
4pm - The case is a 56-year-old woman who was at an MIQ facility in Auckland. She had recent returned from Europe.
She tested negative twice during her stay
Hipkins says her strain of the virus isn't yet know, and it is too early to speculate.
3:55pm - A press conference is scheduled to begin at 4pm, which will be fronted by Dr Bloomfield and Hipkins.
There are a number of ways you can watch that live:
- in the embedded YouTube link above
- in the video player at the top of the page
- live on Newshub's website here
- or tune in on Three.
3:50pm - ACT leader David Seymour says if this case turns out to be community transmission, the Government's objective "must be avoiding another lockdown".
He believes the best news is this case is a "false alarm", but if not, then a number of things should happen to protect the community.
"First, mass testing will need to be rolled out. How soon can this be in place? Is the resource standing by to rapidly put in place the infrastructure for mass testing in the region?," he says.
"We know very few people in Northland have been getting tested, with Ministry of Health statistics showing only 282 tests were carried out over the past week [January 18 to 24], down from 328 the week before."
Seymour adds that much will rest on where the source of this outbreak occurred in MIQ, including whether this person travelled to Northland from Auckland or further afield.
"Above all, the Government must be completely transparent about all aspects of this situation," he says.
"We hope the Government succeeds in containing any cases as soon as possible."
3:40pm - Since reports of the case emerged earlier on Sunday, Hipkins has clarified there is not yet any evidence of community transmission in Northland - reiterating the difference between this and a case in the community.
"It's still most likely this is a border case," he said, as reported by the Herald.
3:30pm - Welcome to Newshub's live updates on the case of COVID-19 found in Northland's community.
We are awaiting an update from Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Minister for COVID-19 Response Chris Hipkins, which is due to happen at 4pm, where they are expected to give more information on this case. When that begins, you'll be able to watch it above, in either the embedded YouTube link or the video player at the top of the page, or live on Three.
What is currently known is health officials are "investigating a positive test result in a person who has departed from a MIQ facility". The NZ Herald also reports the person left their facility about five days ago.