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Auckland to go into Level 3 lockdown for three days, and the rest of the country Level 2, as three members of a South Auckland family test positive for COVID-19; Locations of interest include Papatoetoe High School and tourist spots in New Plymouth

Auckland to go into Level 3 lockdown for three days, and the rest of the country Level 2, as three members of a South Auckland family test positive for COVID-19; Locations of interest include Papatoetoe High School and tourist spots in New Plymouth

NOTE: This story continues to be updated throughout Sunday afternoon and evening.

Auckland is being put into Level 3 lockdown from 11.59pm tonight and will remain there until 11.59pm on Wednesday. 

The rest of the country is going into Level 2.

The change comes as three people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the community.

The cases are part of the same South Auckland family - a mother, father and daughter.

Alert levels will be reviewed every 24 hours. 

See this page from the Government's COVID-19 website for more on what Level 3 restrictions mean and this page for more on what Level 2 restrictions mean. 

Inter-regional travel will be highly limited. Road blocks will be used. However Aucklanders in other parts of the country can return home, as can non-Aucklanders visiting Auckland.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Government would consider support for businesses after 72 hours at Level 3. 

However, in December, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the wage subsidy and a new type of payment would kick in after seven days of restrictions. 

Details of the infected family

One of the infected cases - the daughter - goes to Papatoetoe High School. She was last at school on Wednesday. The school will be closed on Monday and Tuesday.

The daughter’s immediate classmates are being treated as close contacts, as are a small number of teachers. There are around 1400 students at the school.

The mother works at an airport laundry and catering service in Mangere - LSG Sky Chefs. She hasn't been to work since February 5, so isn't believed to have been at work while she was infectious.

The father is a self-employed tradesman. Interviews are underway to determine his contacts and movements.

A fourth household contact has tested negative, but has symptoms.

Two family members visited the South Auckland home last Wednesday. They are in isolation, even though they've returned negative test results. 

Another two people travelled with two of the cases to New Plymouth over Waitangi weekend. They too have tested negative but are isolating.

The three infected people have been transferred to a quarantine facility. The fourth family member is self-isolating at home. 

The mother and daughter got tested and stayed home when they developed symptoms. 

Their test results came back last night and the father's this morning. Their infections are new and active. 

The mother undergoes routine fortnightly testing at her workplace. She last returned a negative test result on January 18.

She mainly works in the laundry part of the business, handling laundry from international flights. 

While she has exposure to the border, the source of the infection is still unknown. The strain is also unknown.  

Locations of interest - South Auckland, New Plymouth, Otorohanga

Two of the cases briefly visited Pak’n’Save Manukau on Friday. People who visited the supermarket between 3.45pm and 5pm are being asked to isolate and seek advice about getting tested.

Two of the family members visited a number of tourist locations in New Plymouth, as well as McDonalds in Otorohanga, between February 6 and 8.

It is unknown whether they were infectious at this time, but people who visited the locations below need to stay at home and get tested:

Additional testing will be set up at Papatoetoe High School. 

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield is urging people not to rush to testing centres unless they have symptoms or have been at locations of interest. 

As usual, people are being urged to stay home if sick and until they receive negative test results.

Ardern described Cabinet’s lockdown decision as “cautious”.

“You’ll have less regret if you move early than if you leave it and it gets out of control,” she said.

Ardern will provide an update at 4pm on Monday.

Economic support

In December, Robertson promised to reinstate the wage subsidy in the event of a Level 3 or 4 lockdown for seven days or more. 

He said the value of the subsidy would remain the same ($585.80 per week for a full-timer and $350 for a part-timer). But rather than businesses showing a 40% decline in revenue compared to the previous year, they'd have to show a 40% decline compared to the six weeks prior to the alert level change.

Robertson said support would be provided in two-weekly payments and total support would match the duration at Alert Level 3 or 4 rounded to the nearest fortnight.

In the event of a move to Levels 2, 3 or 4 for seven days or more, Robertson in December said a new one-off Resurgence Support Payment would be made available.

He said businesses that incurred a revenue drop of 30% or more over a 14-day period, due to a change in alert levels, would be able to receive up to $21,500 depending on how many employees they have.

Robertson said businesses would get $1500 plus $400 for every full-time employee up to 50 employees.

No further details or commitments been made since December. 

Final reminder

A message from Bloomfield:

“It’s more important than ever that everyone around the country remains vigilant. If you wonder what you can do in this situation, and whether it will make a difference – the answer is, it does.

“If you feel unwell, please call Healthline and arrange to get a test.

“Please, keep up the mahi with the hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquettes we’re continuing to reinforce.

“Please, keep up with the Contact Tracer App, turn on Bluetooth and scan, scan, scan.

“There’s been a huge amount of work around these cases already today and there will be people in the public health response and elsewhere working into the night.

“But the health system can’t do it alone.  It’s our “together” which will make the real difference.”

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115 Comments

15
up

Oh man. We have been super lucky so far but my gut tells me this time is different. But I hope I am wrong.
If only we had been one of the first 100 countries to start vaccinating rather than just being "at the front of the queue" todays situation would be a lot less worrying.

My response of choice to your comment is unprintable

Try ad libing..??

Try imagining

Haha... my imagination probably makes your unprintable response printable

Don't put money on it

Every time we go into lockdown, asset prices go up 20%. It’s a funny old world we live in....take a deep breath and have a giggle.

Mine don’t

. .. we've survived 12 months on the economic sugar rush of ultra low OCR rates ... dammit , let's just make it permanent ... lets go diabetic on debt , baby .... lock Orc Land down forever in level 4 .... stay home , telecommute to work ... no more fossil car fuels, no need for new roads .... interest rates forever falling / house prices perpetually rising : Nobel Prize for Economics coming the Gummy way ... ooooooh yeah .... sorted !

I agree. The vaccination program, and not quarantine, should now be seen as the primary measure of if government are succeeding in dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic. We've got lucky so many times now but luck isn't a good long term strategy.

The rules are:

If it works - Good management.

if it fails - bad luck or someone else's fault.

The public should have been screaming for vaccinations to start sooner instead of cruising along. This feels bad.

The public can scream as loudly as it likes, until it was approved for use nothing would have happened. At least we haven't had a kneejerk "lock down" response.. yet. Let's not do a "chicken little" just yet

....yet.

12
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Would you take a vaccine right now? I’m no antivaxer by any means but I still think they have been a bit rushed and I’d rather wait a few more months

Jimbo there have been something like 16 1/2 million doses administered in the UK - 120 or so adverse reactions ranging from irritation at the administration site (a red mark) to full blown anaphylactic reactions. Statistically the numbers of adverse reactions are virtually immeasurable (0.0009%) Take your meds son!

That was the first approved vaccine wasn’t it? What worried me is that as soon as one was approved all of a sudden there were a fair few more. Was it just a fluke that they all were ready at almost the same time, or were those companies / governments prepared to accept less testing to not be last?
Statistically my chances of dying of Covid are pretty low in NZ too.

Jimbo it wasn't a fluke. Multiple vaccines were being developed in tandem so the approval timing was always going to similar. Some got emergency approval (Phizer/BioNTech) and others still had to do 3rd stage trails (AstroZenica) prior to approval. I note now that the Russian vaccine (Sputnik V) that was previously poohpoohed by the EU has now also been approved for use in the EU. Sinopharm's version is now being rolled out in India
Fact is they are mostly versions of the same tech - mRNA (with a few exceptions). Your chances of dying as a result of infection by CV19 are orders of magnitude higher than your chances of adverse effects from the vaccine (currently about 2.5% vs 0.0009%) but it's your call.

10
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my chance of dying from Covid are a lot less due to my age, and then the chance of me getting Covid in NZ is tiny too. No one my age has died of Covid in NZ, I’m much more likely to die in a car crash.
I will get the vaccine, but I would still prefer to wait a little longer if we have that luxury.

Fact is Jimbo, we don't have the luxury of selecting which vaccine we'll accept. You'll be provided with what the state deems the most effective. Your choice on whether you avail yourself of it.

Yeah true. But we should have a pretty good idea on how effective and safe each one is by then.
I also think it would be pretty greedy of us to be hogging the vaccine right now don’t you think?

With a response to Covid such as ours, and a relatively miniscule population we certainly won't be "hogging" any supplies - we'll get what was ordered (if we're lucky). The current mainstream vaccines have been proven safe. The question now arising is will they be effective.

And? what happens after that, do we need to top it up every year? like Flu, which basically carry 50% of vaccine efficacy. C'mon hook, even up until now.. we don't have AIDS vaccine yet.
Now, sorry to stir up the non-related.. my point is, why NZ not even uttering any interest to Sinovac? yet, all the hoo haa about FTA upgrade with China, talking about all effort possibilities.

17
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Likewise. I'm surprised by how people are screaming for a vaccine produced by a company that has paid out 4.7 trillion dollars in fines for mainly safety and false claims Violations since 2000. You should all run screaming from it. Not to mention that it's effectiveness is not guaranteed, not by a long shot. People are so brainwashed

So you'll be refusing a vaccine shot when it's available then? Perhaps you are the one who is brainwashed?

No way am I taking it for starters. You lot take it if you think its so great, that way I will not have to take it. Herd immunity is at like 80-90% for this so if most people take it then I don't need to take it.

Haha, good call Carlos. Those that take the vaccine will be immunised from contracting C19 but will still be active spreaders. Case in point - I don't get a flu shot (most employees around me do) but I still get sick unless I stay away from them. Your theory is laughable - you'll catch it unless you join PdK in his cave somewhere down Fiordland and then when you do catch it.. it'll mess with you big time.

I'll take my chances with the virus. Medical mishaps kill more people in the US every year than heart disease. All it takes is one f*ckup in the lab and those who take the vaccine will breed kids with 3 nostrils.

... statistically speaking , if you're an obese Maori man over 75 years old , a smoker , with diabetes ... you have a 1 in 4 chance of dying if you contract covid-19 ....

So .... when the time comes , behave yourself .... drop your daks , bend over , and let the nurse do her job ... its for the best , in the end ...

Yeeeeeoooooooowwwwwwwww

No vaccine for you ah Gummy..still " it's just the flu" ?

If I ever find myself in that category - I'll be dropping my daks for the nurse at any opportunity I can

Not necessarily. I may opt to have it at some stage. I can decide later. Depends what pressure is exerted to take it vs. what I see happening around me ie people suffering side effects. Bearing in mind side effects can be insidious and seemingly unconnected to the vaccine. As happened with Gardasil HPV vaccine. Am not a scientist, only see this vaccine being pushed out quickly by unscrupulous companies with terrible track record. I certainly don't consider it my civic duty to accept that wholesale

Are you saying the vaccine will be mandatory so he will be "refusing"?

Fear makes people do weird things. FOMO w/ the housing market is a good example...

. .. and like , everyone voting for Jacinda at the last election .... fear worked to her advantage ... weird how so few people nor journalists were able to see through her ... fear .... wonderful stuff

But you saw straight through her ah Gummy..and voted for Crusher..well done.

This thing just keeps on getting out of its cage no matter what. Its just a matter of time before one of the new strains gets a foothold. The level of biosecurity required to keep this out of the community is extreme and we are clearly just not hitting the required standards.

that was kind of expected though don’t you think. It’s inevitable that we will have another big lockdown at some stage unless the vaccines stop it. It’s coming up to a year since the big lockdown, that’s a much better run than I expected.

totally - i run a healthcare comp - and we have been expecting it daily -- good thing is we are all totally prepared -- well as we think we can be! hopefully the generl public is the same and ready for a 6 week stay at home!

Again located in our largest city and of course that is where the international travel is the largest. So any bubble with Australia will be embracing exactly that same level of risk, every day. So on this particular day today, community infections in Melbourne & Auckland, the Robot in Lost in Space would be sounding Danger,Danger,Danger, non stop.

Hahaha - "Danger.. Will Robertson!!" he did tend to run around in circles waving his arms too

Robby the Robot was a bit jumpy and a bit square, but I recall he packed quite a punch when the shite did actually hit the fan.

Now the vaccines have been approved and frontline border staff are prioritised, at least that's another gap hopefully closed. Combatting this virus is like trying to shoot a lightbulb on a lake

It's getting stronger and more contagious as people socially distance. Only the strongest survive - natural selection

Another scare for the public, just in time for the vaccination roll out. Awaiting Jacinda to front the media shortly to steer the team of 5 million.

Remember Nifty the rollout isn't for the general population. We've only got a few thousand doses in the country atm. Agreed though that it will focus border workers on the need for vaccination but I doubt they need much convincing

dont think they are actually here yet -- more like supposed to be arriving some time next week --

New Plymouth soon to have some infections no doubt. Will have to lay low for a while or back to masks, cleaning groceries, cash and washing hands etc

Maybe an emergency cut to OCR on the way.

Yeah.. from FA to SFA!!

You're' not suggesting that Covid19 is just a convenient excuse to shovel trillions of dollars worth of liquidity into a system that refused to recover using 'conventional' unconventional means? That without that asset prices would have collapsed and deflation would have run rampant under the weight of non-productive monetary stimulation? Surely not.

Quick...more QE. Drop OCR to super emergency levels. Mr Orrsome will save us.

... Orr not ..

O for Orrsome

Oh, and how is the pre-flight testing going that everyone was calling for and the govt finally put in place, knowing it wouldn't be overly effective? Eh?

Read a few weeks ago that people were able to buy Pre-flight test certs on the UK's version of Trade Me. Only way airlines can try (emphasis on try) to reduce the transmission is PCR tests - quick, available, but prone to false results.

Well knock me down wiv a fevver who woulda thunk that could happen

I guess we don’t know how effective it is as we don’t know how many people were about to come over then got a positive result and didn’t. It was never going to be a silver bullet but it should have decreased the number of people coming with Covid to some degree.

Hope everyone's been using the app...

Yep, got four matches in my area!

And if the app had an auto check in feature most would.

Stupid fools thinking voluntary qr code scanning is some sort of gold standard.

Sam Morgan was developing the " gold standard " in tracing , but the Ministry of Health weren't interested ... they knew best ...

Won't run on my phone. Hopeless.

Last time Auckland was in lockdown after community cases identified in SA. I hope it will be different this time as I can see MOH's tracing is now much better.

Level 3 for Auckland I reckon!

On the money. Didn't expect L2 for everywhere else though!

Overreaction. The govt hates Auckland.

So what would you do? Leave it for a few days? Meanwhile we end up with tens/hundreds of cases? Then full lockdown for 6 weeks?

Level 2 would have been sufficient.
Children, once again, are the losers. Disruption of their education is not good.

10
up

Well maybe if they saved hard by giving up avocado and got on the property ladder, they wouldn’t have to go to school

Build a quality tracing system over the past year perhaps?

Many have electronic social networks. Almost all have a GPS in our pocket. Yet some crappy e-diary is the best we.can do for a global, once in a lifetime pandemic!

Remember that time Melbourne decided they didn’t need lockdown but ended up being in lockdown for months?

. . not just the government ... everyone hates Orc Land ... lock 'em up in level 4 permanently .... solves our climate change emissions obligations too ... saves on roads & de light rail ... winner !

Haha

... might get an award , for saving all those emissions ... solving the climate change Emergency ... looking forward to flying to Paris to collect the prize ...

Correct decision IMO. Let’s hope it’s only for 3 days.
I still wonder how that Pullman hotel kept spreading. I always suspected an employee so hope it isn’t from that.

you really think this is going to be only for 3 days? , symptoms dont show for 2-3 weeks....

My daughter has just started high school, along with thousands of other students. Each time this happens it whacks their progress.
3 days is tolerable just, 1-2 weeks isn't.

They need to start thinking about pumping millions in to catch up tutoring. Businesses get whacked and they get financial compensation, how about students?

They could use those tip quality international student schools to help. ;)

if they don’t find any more cases and/or they find an obvious source then they will lower to 2.

Jacinda needs to spin this out until the next election.

... if they were 100 % honest with us , they ought to drop the " Labour " , and rebrand themselves as " the Virus Party " .... has a ring of truth about it ...

It was fine at 1pm when they updated the county thrn now at level 3 in akl... and Im stranded in AKL... the communication has been flipping bad and they have done a 180 on what they said earlier.... muppets

If you don’t live in Auckland you can leave. In fact even if you do I think you can leave until midnight.

had a flight at 6.30am tomorrow which is shit out of luck - pretty peeved at labours shit communication earlier otherwise may have been able to get out tonight

10
up

I watched both the 1:30 and the 7:00 briefings on TV and thought the communication from Hipkins, Bloomfield and Ardern was excellent. Putting a country into lockdown is not a simple decision, it will take some amount of time to collate all the facts and make the decision. They shouldn’t rush it just because you have a flight booked!

I think you'll be alright - pretty sure that the PM said in the briefing that if you didn't live in Auckland you were allowed to leave to go home (and vice versa).

Good news uh oh - you'll still be able to get your flight home tomorrow: https://i.stuff.co.nz/travel/news/300230000/covid19-threeday-lockdown-wh...
Good luck!

Thanks will see at 5.30 tomorrow, already planning to self isolate to prevent any spread to others - although I have no symptoms so masks on and fingers crossed

13
up

Property prices will surge now.

.... working good , so far ... keeping the economy afloat , on Reserve Bank steroids ...

can't wait for labour to be out.. problem is national is just as bad - and the minority parties who have policies that are actuall well thought through are not polarising and therefore do not get the votes from the red and blues...

Shame as both major parties are bad

I'm sure everyone just got the same impressively scary air raid siren warning on their phone, as if a nuclear ICBM strike was imminent! The NZ public has been indoctrinated to be terrified. How do you walk an entire country back from that hysteria? Meanwhile pharma companies are having a field day. The guy narrating trial site news could barely contain his contempt for Merck, one of the manufacturers of Ivermectin, for taking a dump on their own product. You see despite the fact that Ivermectin appears to be the most superior drug for the treatment and prophylaxis of COVID19 (see here) no company can make money from it because it's off patent. Everything about this is wrong.

Ivermectin has only been proven effective in vitro, not in vivo. Big difference...

Incorrect! open the links. There are 39 human trials and 100% of them show excellent efficacy.

I have a feeling that the new great society planned for us will be populated only with people sheep-ish enough to join. If you're willing to go along with it, then a glorious future of micromanaged lifestyle choices and relentless fear narratives are waiting you and your loved ones. As a reward, you'll be led to believe you're responsible and doing God's work. If you choose not to - you'll be shunned like a leper, but will be able to live quite happily otherwise. The choice is yours - red pill ... or Klaus's Schwaub

We've had an increasing number of close calls and been very lucky on several occasions, without the vaccine the outcome is inevitable. It's a race between the government vaccination program and the virus.

... given that the current government has as much brainpower as a flock of headless chickens , my money's on the virus to win that race ....

The virus is a sinister little genius

But but you said it was the flu and nothing to worry about last year?

Ihre papiere bitte...

You mean loo paper; Nein!

Anybody take in the body language and hesitant 7pm speech of the PM and Bloomfield? they are s... scared methinks.
Think there may have been dispute over level 3 vs 4, and for Auckland vs NZ as a whole?With the politicians "winning"?
They have No idea where the bug came from? could be a hangover from the last MIQ fiasco, so it could be anywhere and everywhere.Level 4 for Auckland if/when any more cases, 3 for the country by next weekend?

Good point. The delivery did seem a bit awkward, strained and hesitant. Might be something in that, might not.

I suspect possibly spread through contact with laundry used are border control - hopefully they use gloves, masks PPE & disinfectant etc problem t would be very difficult to test that theory as the source of the original infection could well be gone, although you could test the laundry of covid positive patients in quarantine... to see if objects are becoming sources of infection

Jacinda hasn't seemed as composed recently, think her team are getting out of their depth to solve the pending issues. There's only so much PR you can do until the public see through the cracks.

And on the news this morning Jacinda talking about further support for business if this lockdown goes past 7 days !!! Do they know this already?

I know someone in a senior position at a large organization with a lot of govt contracts, ok it's the Salvation Army, and they were told a week ago to prepare for another lockdown. So the govt knew this was coming at least from last week, maybe before then and let a few others know.

But not the public!

Orr going to use it as an excuse to keep rates low...

"The mother undergoes routine fortnightly testing at her workplace. She last returned a negative test result on January 18."

Except in this case, she clearly was not tested fortnightly. If she last returned a negative result on the 18th, that test was taken on the 17th as a best-case scenario. She had been at work until the 5th, so why was she not retested from the 31st to the 5th? As usual, the border worker testing system is a shambles, and not happening as we are being told it is. Testing people who work in shifts on a fortnightly basis was flagged in the report that the government stonewalled until before Xmas, but they had that a couple of of months beforehand. So I ask again: are our border workers being regularly tested? Will they be? Or is the plan to just wing it until they can be vaccinated?

So is the mother case zero? What’s everyone’s thoughts on transmission? Contraction from contaminated clothing when laundering? Contact with an intermediate that hasn’t been identified yet?

If they can detect the virus in sewage, then it could be contracted from laundry via a skid mark on a pilot's undies.

Last year 2020, NZ economic performance was staggering despite the 6-8wks of lock down & stimulus+subsidy given to the corporation, so expect the same logic to apply 2021-25.
More stimulus & different subsidy names are on the card, to the point of subsidy plan for nationwide companies profit/performances - this is NZ new winning economic formulae, shock n awe, blitzkrieg hard, fast.. furious. aeh?