By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The New Zealand Ministry of Health reported today on the first community transmission of COVID-19 in 102 days. The four confirmed cases of COVID-19 come from one family from an unknown source.

Image/Robert Herriman

The index case is a person in their 50s who lives in South Auckland. The person has no overseas travel history.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, “As is our usual protocol we are continuing to trace close and casual contacts of this person and test them for COVID-19.

“This has included household contacts of the case who received a rapid test this evening. Three of these tests have also come back positive and three are negative.

“All close contacts of the four cases will remain in self-isolation for 14 days, regardless of their test result, and all casual contacts will remain in self-isolation until they have the results of their test.”

Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said, “Our first cases in the community still leaves questions to be answered, the most important of which is tracing the case back to its origin.

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“When we’re able to do that, we can be much more certain about tracing and isolating close contacts. When we can’t do that, it means we have to take a precautionary approach.

“At this stage, we have not yet been able to determine the source of the case. There is no immediate link to an MIQ facility that we are yet aware of, or to border staff.”

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From noon on Wednesday, Auckland will move to level 3 on New Zealand’s COVID-19 alert system, signaling people should stay at home if possible and avoid contact with others. Schools will close for most pupils while bars and restaurants will also shut.

This will remain in place for three days, and the rest of the country will go to level 2 restrictions that include social distancing and limits on the size of gatherings.