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Director-General of Health warns 'we are not out of the woods'

Director-General of Health warns 'we are not out of the woods'

The Ministry of Health advises there were no new community cases of Covid on Tuesday.

There were four new cases in managed isolation.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the zero number of new community cases was "reassuring".

"...But we are early in the journey and not out of the woods."

He said based on the timings of recent exposure events in Auckland of people who had the virus, the Ministry would expect to see any new positive tests coming from Tuesday onwards.

He said genome sequencing on the latest community case, case 'O', the mother of one of the earlier cases, this showed a definite link with other cases and the current cluster. The cases are all of the new variant first found in Britain.

The latest statement from the Ministry, with a comprehensive update, is below:

No new COVID-19 community cases; 4 cases in managed isolation  

2 March 2021

There are no new COVID-19 cases to report in the community.

There are four new COVID-19 cases to report in managed isolation.

Whole Genome Sequencing for Case O

Preliminary Whole Genome Sequencing results for Case O have been received, linking the case to the Auckland February cluster. The final results will help determine links between the different cases in the cluster.

Testing update

Since Sunday 14 February there have been more than 70,000 community tests for COVID-19 in metro Auckland – which is equivalent to more than 4 percent of the region’s population. 8,880 tests were carried out nationally yesterday.

There are 11 community testing centres open in Auckland today; seven of these are in South and East Auckland. The centres are in Takanini, Wiri, Mangere, Otara, Pakuranga, Balmoral, New Lynn, Henderson, Northcote, with pop-up testing centres at Kohuora Park in Papatoetoe and Barry Curtis Park in Flat Bush.

Community testing centres in Auckland are reporting steady demand today. A reminder that GP and urgent care clinics are also available to carry out COVID-19 tests. COVID-19 tests are free wherever you go.

A reminder that it is important the right people get tested. Please don’t get a test if you are well, or if you weren’t at one of the locations of interest at the stated times unless you have been advised to by public health teams. Remember the most important thing people in Auckland should be doing at Alert Level 3 is staying home.

As always, anywhere you are in the country, if you have symptoms please stay home and call Healthline (0800 358 5453) for advice.

For up-to-date information on testing locations in Auckland visit, for all testing locations nationwide visit

Welfare checks

Community health providers will continue visiting the homes of isolating families from the February cluster. These are welfare checks to assess any needs families might have and to offer wrap-around support from social services to help them remain in isolation safely and access testing.

If needed, these community health providers can also offer translated information sheets or translators to talk through any concerns families might have.

Auckland February cases contact tracing update

Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) Manukau

Contact tracing of the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) Manukau campus has identified 21 close contacts of Case M, who are being followed up and provided advice from public health staff regarding isolating and testing.

The dates and times of potential exposure events are on the Ministry’s website, on the locations of interest page. This page also has public health advice for people who were at the MIT Manukau campus at these dates and times. The vast majority of people on the campus at the same times as Case M are considered casual contacts and need to watch for symptoms. They do not need to have a test unless they have symptoms, or are a close or casual plus contact. All casual contacts should be limiting their movements and interactions with other people. Under Level 3, everyone in Auckland should also currently be staying at home. 

City Fitness in Hunters Plaza

Contact tracing of City Fitness in Hunters Plaza has identified 158 casual plus contacts. These contacts will be followed up by contact tracing teams to ensure that they get a test and stay at home until the test is negative. If you were at the gym on 20 February between 12.20pm - 1.45pm or 26 February between 3.25pm - 4.30pm and have not been contacted then please phone Healthline for advice. 

KFC Botany Downs contacts

KFC staff - there are 11 close plus contacts who worked at the same time as Case L. Ten of these people have returned negative test results so far.

All other test results received so far have come back negative.

Detailed advice about the actions required for the different categories of contacts is provided on the Ministry of Health website.

Progress with tests at Papatoetoe High School

Case A had 31 close contacts at the school, one of these tested positive (Case D). All others have tested negative for COVID-19.

All the remaining students and staff at the school have been designated as casual plus contacts of Case A.

All casual plus contacts have been undergoing a follow-up test on or after 22 February; more than 97 percent of results are back, and all results from the follow-up tests are negative.

Kmart Botany contacts

A total of 34 staff members have been identified as close plus contacts.

All 34 people have tested negative.

We have been contacted by 1,855 people who reported being at the store at the times of interest. They have been provided with public health advice. These people have been asked to isolate for 14 days and be tested at day 5 and day 12 after their exposure to the case. People who have symptoms will be tested at the appropriate time.

We currently have 1,805 negative test results for this group.

Looking after yourself and others

We understand that this situation is difficult for many and news of Alert Level changes can be frustrating.

The public can access free 24/7 support by phoning 1737, and there is a range of other support listed on the Ministry of Health website.

Now more than ever, people in Auckland need to look out for each other. We appreciate what you are doing is for the benefit for all of us. 

It’s also important to acknowledge the work of those involved in the response. A large number of people are working around the clock on the health response – we thank them for their dedication.

New border case details

Arrival date   From   Via   Positive test day/reason   Managed isolation/quarantine location  
28 Feb  India  United Arab Emirates  Around day 0 / routine testing  Auckland 
28 Feb  Ethiopia*   United Arab Emirates  Around day 0 / routine testing  Auckland 
28 Feb  Ethiopia*  United Arab Emirates  Around day 0 / routine testing  Auckland 
28 Feb  Canada  United Arab Emirates  Around day 0 / routine testing  Auckland 

*These two cases travelled together.

Two previously reported cases have now recovered. The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 69. Our total number of confirmed cases is 2,026.

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,720,909.

On Monday, 8,880 tests were processed. The seven-day rolling average up to yesterday is 7,780 tests processed.

Historical cases

Since January 1, there have now been 37 historical cases, out of a total of 216 cases.


NZ COVID Tracer now has 2,714,832 registered users, an increase of more than 94,000 users in the last fortnight.

Poster scans have reached 202,297,008 and users have created 8,071,789 manual diary entries. There have been 1,515,213 scans in the 24 hours to 1pm yesterday, and 1,347,411 scans per day on average for the past week. 

It’s critical to keep track of where you’ve been and the COVID Tracer app is an easy way to do this. Please continue to scan QR codes wherever you go and turn on Bluetooth tracing in the app dashboard if you haven’t already done so.  

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.


Heard of the story 'boy cried wolf', get the feeling these lockdowns may turn out similar.


I try to IGNORE and BLOCK as much Covid-19 content as possible. Not having television and Facebook helps. Blocking advertisements on YouTube (AdBlocker) helps also. Government phone alerts are more than enough.

Obviously poverty and the housing crisis (over crowding) are the likely contributors to Covid-19 outbreaks. As the government refuses to implement meaningful policies to confront those issues; thinking citizens need to:

- Not live/conduct-business in poor areas
- Avoid Covid-19 news/commentary
- Disassociate from those whom are obsessed with Covid-19
- Vote better
- Live their lives

I've noticed a lot of people have gotten chub over the past year.


Don't be poor. What an amazing solution, why didn't someone else think of that?


Others already had this ingenious idea: Richard Prebble, David Seymour, etc.



I agree with the [your?] sentiment that poverty will always exist, but I don't believe in needs to be so extreme or worsen. Hence my above dig at the government.


If there are no new community cases in the next few days I will be thinking this HIGHLY infectious variant is a bit of a fizzer.


With so few infected people in NZ it's really to hard to draw any conclusions. There are super-spreader people, who infects dozens of others, whereas most people infect 1 or 0 people.

In such a small sample of infected people, if one of them is a super-spreader and spreads it to dozens of others, it will look really bad. But if everyone passes it on to 1 or 0 people, then it will look really good.

You need a much bigger sample of infected people transmitting it to others to really judge how infectious it is.


Or, you could utilise common sense, science and fact along with the efforts New Zealand has made to keep covid out and be aware that it hasn't spread because it's contained - for now.


By highly infectious they mean you may infect 3 people on average instead of 2. Very significant when the virus is multiplying rapidly, less significant when only one person is walking around with it.


Covid kills, well so do cars and alcohol. Why don’t we ban all cars and alcohol. We can walk everywhere and keep hydrated ban all flights here also anyone wanting to come to nz can come via sail power to reduce global warming. This pandemic has played into Jacinda’s communications degree, A+ for her propaganda machine. But I don’t see why we are running scared every time it enters the country. When will we face the music you can’t keep it out forever.


After we have all been offered a vaccine I think they will let it in. It turns out that economies don’t do well when lots of people are dying and others are scared to go outside.


Yeah hope they have at the least a mid term plan, be nice to know some dates to be able to hold the government accountable (maybe Jacinda could present a nice timetable diagram for us).


More day 0 cases today! Had they really been tested negative prior to travel?