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Two more people test positive for COVID-19 after leaving managed isolation; There's a chance their infections may be historical but people who visited certain locations in North Auckland need to get tested and isolate

Two more people test positive for COVID-19 after leaving managed isolation; There's a chance their infections may be historical but people who visited certain locations in North Auckland need to get tested and isolate

The Ministry of Health is reporting two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community.

The individuals completed managed isolation in the same facility (the Pullman Hotel), and at the same time, as the Northland woman who tested positive once she’d left isolation.

They left the facility on January 15 and have been residing in North Auckland since.

Importantly, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said, “While we still can’t categorically rule these out as historical infections, test results so far indicate the two people may have contracted COVID-19 towards the end of their stay in managed isolation, after returning two negative tests each during their stay.

“It’s too early to make a firm conclusion. Genome sequencing results, which are expected tomorrow, and serology results expected the following day, will help develop the picture further.

“However, out of an abundance of caution we are now responding as if these are confirmed current infections.”

People who visited the following locations at the following times need to self-isolate and get tested:

Here's more from the Ministry of Health:

People who have visited those locations during the time period, and as ever, anyone in Auckland with symptoms, are asked to isolate and call Healthline to arrange a test and remain isolated until they receive their result.

“It’s important the right people isolate and get tested, so we don’t overwhelm testing centres,” said Dr Bloomfield.

“We understand that many will be anxious, but it’s important to remember we are carrying out these measures as a precaution. There is no evidence so far that suggests community transmission - but we need the right people to isolate and get tested.”

This will come as news to some locations of interest as we move quickly to respond and we thank them for their understanding and cooperation.

The two former returnees were initially classified as under investigation after returning positive tests and pending further investigation to determine if the infections were recent or historical. They returned a second positive test with a higher CT value which led to them being treated as confirmed cases.

A third person in the family’s bubble has tested negative. The two family members who tested positive are in the process of being moved to Auckland’s quarantine facility.

The two positive cases completed quarantine on 15 January and have been residing in North Auckland since.

Further interviews are being carried out to determine the family’s detailed movements since they left managed isolation to identify close and casual contacts.  

A number of steps have already been put in place at the Pullman hotel including:

  • a deep clean of commonly used areas
  • tighter restrictions on movement of returnees including no arrivals or departures
  • increasing hotel ventilation
  • requesting returnees who’ve recently left, to not fly, to stay home and have an additional test within 48 hours
  • restricting staff from working at other sites
  • tighter restrictions on movement of returnees including no arrivals or departures from the facility.

Testing centres

A number of walk-in / drive-thru community testing centres will be open in Auckland — some with extended hours. These can be found on the ARPHS website and Healthline will have this information too. The website also includes extra pop-up community testing centres, targeted to North Auckland.

Public health advice

In addition, Aucklanders and people travelling to the city should follow key public health advice: wash your hands; use a mask on public transport; use the NZ Covid Tracer App; if you develop symptoms, isolate and seek advice from Healthline about getting tested.

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


Wow it's not looking good is it. Is the cat finally out of the bag ? Such a big delay between you getting this and symptoms it could be all over the place by now.

Time the government stopped being so 'nice'.
Reduce the number of returnees. Most genuine returning Kiwis have already had ample time to get here.
Fine airlines $4000 for each person they bring into NZ that doesn't have proof of a clear test.
And 14 days in quarantine should be 14 days in your room as in Aus.

BBQ King is the place to be!

They went 4 times in two days. I'm impressed.

MoH is staffed by people who do budgets for hospitals. I suspect this is all a bit much.

That is certainly a point that quickly became clear at the onset of this crisis. For instance the utter confusion and contradictions that allowed open ingress into rest homes for far far too long. Let’s just hope amongst all of this the MIQ staff have been sufficiently protected in terms of correct equipment and procedure. Again this highlights just why all those staffing the frontline should have been vaccinated by now.

but it's not. I suspect the work load is overwhelming them.

And all I read in the msm is dual passport holding kiwis wanting to return after many years and migrants separated from their families boohoo..

NZ is just far far too nice always trying to please everyone in the world instead to looking after it’s local based citizens first and foremost

I have doubts lockdowns work, we defer to some future date the full force of the virus. Delay while the economies of the world burn, is never a solution.

The unknown flow ons .

well its worked here -- and in Australia -- if the intended outcome was to prevent infections and deaths due to COvid 19. You can make lots of cases for lockdowns delaying other heatlhcare, damaging economies etc -- but if the purpose was to prevent or reduce the spread of Covid they do work

RE teh variables -- of course if like the US and UK -- huge numbers ignore the restrictions,, hold parties and continue to behave like nothign has happened -- then of course they wont work -- but if the populace follow the rules -- you can eradicate it

Yes - of course its delayed to a later date -- but if by then 70% of hte population are vaccinated, 90% are using the tracer apps, etc -- then the numbers of infections at any one time will be far fewer -- and the result will be our health system will manage and our morbidity rate will be lower -

If you examine the UK infections / deaths graphs -- its obvious that % deaths can be controlled when the health system can cope - but there is a point where the system gets overwhelmed and death rates massively increase -- plenty of similar evidence in individual states in teh US --

THe UK - has the worst infection and death rates - and also the worst financial outcomes greatest drop in GDP , increases in unemployment, largest borrowing -

Cant understand why we would wantto copy that outcome -

I don't think vaccines are going to be successful, like the flu vaccine you get every year is next to useless. Yep, delaying the inevitable is not a success.

Guess it comes down to how confident you are in the vaccine. My understanding is that so long as the virus can mutate to defeat vaccines faster than we can develop, manufacture & distribute vaccines, then the virus wins. The South African variant (& others with the E484K and N501Y mutations) will out compete the other variants over the next 6 months becoming dominant. Rendering the vaccines we have purchased somewhat ineffective. What then are our options? Either we stay locked down till mid 2022 hoping that the new set of vaccines which address the E484K and N501Y mutations are effective. But whats to say that by mid 2022 there aren't further mutations rendering these future vaccines also ineffective??

Guess the point I am trying to make is it is looking likely our 2 options may be to
1) Stay isolated indefinitely, going in & our of lock down periodically as out breaks occur.
2) Accept the virus.

This is a big advantage of the RNA vaccines (Moderna,Pfizer) -- they can be adapted to new strains much more quickly than traditional vaccine platforms.

fed up with all the deliberate miss information -
ITs not historical -- if it was it would have shown up on the tests that they had done whilst in MI -- they know this --so even presenting that as a possibility is either a complete LIE - or admitting complete incompetence with the original sets of testing

again -- people who have been in MI 10+ days - completed testing mingling with people just arriving who have not been isolating or tested

Looks like quarantine worked with the old virus, the new more infectious variant is not so easy to stop.

Don't think level 2/3 lockdowns will work either. Will be level 4 lockdown or broke.

Time to move MIQ out of Auckland too

It doesn't matter where you move it, the new mutant strain is much more infectious, you would need to increase testing by 100x. You need to stop any and everyone from entering the country.

The new variants are indeed more infectious. It's because of the change of its spike protein, and it fools our immune system more efficiently. However, the transmission channel didn't change (I.e. still via droplets mainly). So I guess it's relevant. I feel the decentralised MIQ setup is a more significant threat. There are way too many hands in them: MOH, council, military, private owners. And they are in our most populous city.

Gonna be an interesting long weekend if roadblocks pop up on main roads up north. This really needed to be straightened out long before now at a high level.

Northlanders have long discussed the benefits of installing a major permanent road block at the top of the Brynderwyns. Maybe CoViD presents the perfect opportunity to push our cause

Warkworth often resembles a semi-permanent major road block.

I don't think Kiwis will stand for another level 4 lockdown due to the incompetence of the government in managing this. To much "Be kind" from this lot, time to harden up like the Australians.

Did I get this right? Chris Hipkins has been running an MIQ system that allows people in their last days of isolation (LOL) to mix and mingle with people who have just arrived at MIQ?
Being a career politician with absolutely no business, or even real world experience, we obviously don't expect much from him. But.........
And maybe the scariest part of this is that he seems to be one of the more switched on ministers. God help us.