Two new Covid-19 community cases in Auckland: Teen who works at Kmart and infant

This TVNZ’s story is republished with permission

The Ministry of Health has announced two new community cases this evening.

Kmart Botany. Source: Google Maps

The two cases are siblings of the case notified this afternoon who is a student at Papatoetoe High School.

South Auckland student becomes ninth community Covid-19 case discovered in latest cluster

“The teenage sibling, known as Case J, recently finished school and has been working at Kmart Botany,” the Ministry of Health says.

“Case J was at work on Friday 19 February and Saturday 20 February between 4pm and 10pm. Kmart Botany is regarded as a location of interest.”

The ministry is asking anyone who was at Kmart Botany, 500 Ti Rakau Drive, Botany Downs, at these times to immediately isolate at home and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on isolation timeframes and testing requirements.

“Thirty-one staff at Kmart have already been identified as close contacts and are isolating and being provided with public health advice,” the ministry says.

Another location of interest has been released, Dark Vapes store 30 Springs Road, East Tamaki, Auckland.

New locations of interest revealed after three new community cases announced today

Anyone who was at the store on February 19 between 2.30 and 4pm and February 20 between 7 and 8.30pm is also asked to seek a test and stay home and isolate.

Dark Vapes, East Tamaki. Source: 1 NEWS

The new cases come as earlier today Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the family at the centre of the new community cases weren’t able to be tested earlier as they “could not be contacted” over the last week.

The student whose positive result was announced earlier this afternoon was tested as part of requirements for Papatoetoe High School students to have returned a negative test before returning to school today.

News of the positive test has seen the school closed again and all staff and students requiring retesting.

In new advice released this evening, the Ministry of Health is advising everyone in a Papatoetoe High School household to stay away from work or any other school, educational facility or community setting (e.g. the supermarket or any other place outside the home).

When contacted by 1 NEWS tonight, the Ministry of Health was unable to confirm or deny reports tonight’s new case had previously been told to isolate before they worked their shift at Kmart.

However, they did confirm the advice released tonight, for all household contacts of all Papatoetoe High School students and teachers to isolate, is new information in the wake of today’s cases.

Last Wednesday, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said households connected to Papatoetoe High School were asked to “work from home or stay home for the rest of the week” and avoid large gatherings and visitors.

Initially, only the casual-plus contact, the person who attended the school, was required to isolate — not the entire household. Households were only required to isolate if one member was a close contact to a confirmed case.

All students and teachers were required to return a negative Covid-19 test before returning to school this week.

The cases come as Auckland returned to Alert Level 1 today.

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