New Zealand reports two new coronavirus cases, health worker infected

New Zealand reports two new coronavirus cases, health worker infected

The new case is a young girl who is epidemiologically linked to an existing case associated with the Botany sub-cluster which has been genomically linked to the Auckland cluster.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who is facing a general election on October 17, scaled back the restrictions this month, but the city is still under alert level 2.5, meaning social gatherings of more than 10 people are not allowed.

Ministers will meet today to decide the alert level fate of New Zealand, following two new cases of Covid-19 yesterday - including a quarantine worker at the Jet Park Hotel.

The Prime MInister is providing an update on the current alert levels this afternoon.

"And for the rest of the country, while we will retain the status quo for now, Cabinet has agreed in principle that at 11.59pm on Monday, September 21, the rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 1".

A decision will be made by the New Zealand government on Monday on the new Alert Level in the country.

That change, if it comes, will take effect on September 23, she said.

Mask wearing has been encouraged in Auckland since the city went into level 3.

"There has no doubt been some pent-up demand for retail as many shops were closed for almost three weeks", Takapuna Beach Business Association chief executive Terence Harpur said.

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He says a difference this time compared to the first lockdown is wage subsides are not being handed out at the same rate, which is good.

It also emerged that a person who later tested postive for Covid-19 visited an Auckland gym while infectious.

As of today there are three people in hospital with Covid-19 - one is in isolation on a ward in Auckland City Hospital and two are in ICU, at North Shore and Waikato hospitals.

Five household contacts connected to the health worker are in isolation at their home and are being tested.

"This case is still being investigated to determine if the infection came from the community or from within the quarantine facility, though at this stage no obvious links to other cases in the community have been established", the Health Ministry said.

The total number of active cases in New Zealand is 96.

A deep clean of staff areas in the facility was completed yesterday.

"The Director General of Health has stated that the COVID-19 outbreak in Auckland is contained".

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