An Avondale College family with five members infected with Covid and a flat with two sisters – one a teacher at the same large Auckland school – are among the 21 who make up the city’s growing cluster.
With two people in North Shore Hospital and the number of people with infection doubling in 24 hours, authorities are still investigating if the latest cases to emerge are linked.
Today confirmed cases in the current outbreak swelled from 10 to 21.
More than a quarter are connected with Avondale College, and half are connected to a Devonport tradesman whose infection sparked the nationwide alert level 4 lockdown on Tuesday.
The Government said genomic testing had linked 10 of the initial cases to a recent returnee from Australia who required hospital treatment after entering a downtown Auckland MIQ.
However, one or two links were missing between the patient transfer and the outbreak.
Eight of the newest cases to emerge, including the five from one family, were still under investigation.
But a vaccinated Air New Zealand crew member who travelled to two Covid-19 global hotspots and included in a trio of new cases revealed last night was today considered unlikely to be linked to the outbreak.
All 21 cases were now either in hospital or Jet Park quarantine.
The Devonport man, 58,was the first case identified by health authorities after he became unwell and went to his doctor for a Covid test.
The man, who is considered Case A by the Ministry of Health, had become symptomatic on Saturday and was considered infectious since last Thursday.
When he started to feel sick he was in Coromandel for a weekend away with his wife. She is fully vaccinated and has so far tested negative for Covid.
The 14 potential exposure sites include a bar where he watched the All Black’s rugby match with fellow patrons on Saturday night.
His case sparked the nationwide level 4 lockdown but experts now suspect the virus many have been circulating in the community before he fell ill and he might not be the first case in the outbreak.
Genome testing connected his infection with the NSW Delta variant despite having no personal link between the border and managed isolation.
The second case is a workmate of the Devonport tradesman.
He is a 29-year-old who tested positive after falling ill. He lived on Auckland’s North Shore with three others, including two sisters, who have all since tested positive.
She is a 25-year-old secondary teacher at Auckland’s Avondale College, the third largest school in New Zealand.
She was working at school for two days last week and on Monday this week while she was infectious. She was not vaccinated, according to her father.
All pupils and staff at the school have been asked to self-isolate and get tested.
The 21-year-old flatmate and sister of the teacher is a nurse at Auckland City Hospital where she worked four shifts on Ward 65 while infectious.
Health authorities said the infected health worker was fully vaccinated and believed to have been asymptomatic.
As a result of her positive test result, the large inner city hospital activated plans to prevent the spread of the virus within the hospital.
All unnecessary movements between wards and all staff and patients on the ward the woman worked were tested. Staff working alongside her were stood down, tested and isolated.
According to her father, one of his daughters attended a North Shore church on Sunday morning with her fiance, who had not yet tested positive but was self-isolating and experiencing symptoms.
They had also gone to a nightclub in Auckland’s central city on Sunday night.
A 20-year-old man living in the same house also became unwell and tested positive.
A 21-year-old man who visited the flatmates tested positive for Covid yesterday.
A woman aged 19 who is a close contact of one of the cases in the flat also tested positive. She, along with the rest of the flat, have all been transferred to an Auckland quarantine facility.
strong>The international flight crew member
The woman in her 60s who worked for Air New Zealand tested positive for Covid after a routine surveillance test of international flight crew.
She had not been to Australia in the past three weeks but had visited two Covid-infected countries including Japan.
She was fully vaccinated.
Today it was revealed there was no link between the Devonport cluster and her infection.
E tu head of aviation Savage confirmed the infected staffer was part of the Air New Zealand 787 cabin crew.
A wider group of cabin crew had also been affected as they crewed on the same flights as the infected person. There was also a risk that some ground staff might also be considered close contacts.
All affected crew and workers were removed from rostered duties and are isolating until they were tested and cleared.
A family of five with links to Avondale College was today identified as part of the latest cases.
Avondale College principal Lyndy Watkinson today thanked them for getting tested early and wished them well, and said the thoughts of the community were with them.
Separate school case
The director general of health revealed a separate case was connected to the West Auckland college.
A person in their 20s
A young person in their 20s was taken to North Shore Hospital last night after experiencing worsening Covid symptoms. They were in a stable condition.
A person in their 40s
A second person in their 40s with underlying health conditions who also tested positive for Covid was taken to North Shore Hospital last night. They were also in a stable condition.
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