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Thousands of New Zealanders forced to isolate over two new Covid cases

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Thousands of New Zealanders including an entire school are forced to quarantine after two more coronavirus cases are discovered with one a young Kmart worker

  • Student at Papatoetoe High School in Auckland has tested positive to Covid-19 
  • Comes after Auckland was thrown into three day lockdown after new cases
  • There are currently nine active cases in community which are linked to UK strain 

Thousands of New Zealanders have been forced into quarantine with two new cases of coronavirus diagnosed overnight.

Both are siblings of a high school student who tested positive on Tuesday, and one of them is a teenage Kmart worker.

The first of the three cases was recorded in Auckland and is believed to be related to the cluster which plunged the city into a three-day lockdown last week.

The infected student attends the Papatoetoe High School and is now isolating at home.

The latest outbreak is confirmed to be the highly infectious UK strain of the virus. 

New Zealand has diagnosed a new local case of coronavirus with a high school student at Papatoetoe High School testing positive

New Zealand has diagnosed a new local case of coronavirus with a high school student at Papatoetoe High School testing positive

Nurses are seen speaking to people outside a Covid-19 pop up clinic in Auckland

Nurses are seen speaking to people outside a Covid-19 pop up clinic in Auckland

Nurses are seen speaking to people outside a Covid-19 pop up clinic in Auckland

The student had been tested yesterday and had not returned to the school since, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said.  

Papatoetoe High School confirmed that all staff and students would be retested before they go home on Tuesday afternoon. 

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the infected student lives in a household of six people, with one sibling also attending the same school.

The other family members will be tested immediately but currently the confirmed case is the only one with symptoms. 

More information about any potentially infected venues will be released later on Tuesday. 

Papatoetoe High School had recently been shut in response to the outbreak of cases and only reopened to students who tested negative on Monday. 

It comes after Auckland entered a three day lockdown on February 15 after three people from one family – a Papatoetoe High School student and her parents – tested positive for Covid-19.

The city was thrown into a level three lockdown while the rest of the country was put under level two restrictions. 

It comes after Auckland entered a three day lockdown on February 15 after three people from one family - a Papatoetoe High School student and her parents - tested positive for Covid-19

It comes after Auckland entered a three day lockdown on February 15 after three people from one family - a Papatoetoe High School student and her parents - tested positive for Covid-19

It comes after Auckland entered a three day lockdown on February 15 after three people from one family – a Papatoetoe High School student and her parents – tested positive for Covid-19

Two more cases linked to the school were recorded later last week and after a deep clean the school was reopened on Monday.

So far 1,413 casual plus contacts have been tested with 41 remaining in isolation while they wait for results.  

Auckland had just returned to alert level one restrictions on Tuesday before the new case was identified.

There are currently nine active cases in the community. 

Up to 31 staff at the Kmart store in Botany are considered close contacts of the teenage worker. All have been told to isolate and get tested for symptoms.

Papatoetoe High School confirmed that all staff and students would be retested before they go home on Tuesday afternoon

Papatoetoe High School confirmed that all staff and students would be retested before they go home on Tuesday afternoon

Papatoetoe High School confirmed that all staff and students would be retested before they go home on Tuesday afternoon

Additionally, any shoppers at the Kmart store on February 19 and February 20 between the hours of 3.30pm and 10.30pm, are considered a ‘casual plus’ contact.

They have also been advised to stay home and get tested as soon as possible.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed the teenager who worked at Kmart Botany had been folding clothes, among other small tasks, during her shifts last week.

‘They were doing things like folding clothes, doing a bit of the click-and-collect work,’ she said.

‘She wasn’t a cashier, but we are being very cautious.’

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bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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