COVID-19: Source of cases - 2020 and 2021

What we know about how COVID-19 spread in New Zealand in 2020 and 2021.

Last updated 1pm 12 April 2022.

All data on this page relates to cases recorded prior to 11:59 pm 31 December 2021. For the current situation see the Current cases page.

Data is collected from the EpiSurv database (administered by ESR) unless otherwise stated.

On this page:

How COVID-19 spread in New Zealand in 2020 and 2021

How COVID-19 spread in 2020 and 2021
  Number of cases Percentage (%) of all NZ cases
Imported case 1 2148 15%
Import-related case 2 490 3%
Locally acquired, linked 3 10525 74%
Locally acquired, unknown source 4 123 1%
Under investigation 920 6%
Total 14206 100%
  1. International passengers and crew entering the country who caught COVID-19 overseas or during the journey
  2. People exposed to international returnees - includes close contacts, other returnees in managed isolation or quarantine, and staff working at the border or in managed facilities
  3. Caught COVID-19 from someone locally
  4. Caught COVID-19 within NZ (hadn't travelled overseas recently or been in close contact with someone who travelled recently) but source is unknown

Daily confirmed and probable cases by source

Transmission type of COVID-19 cases
Daily confirmed and probable cases by source
COVID-19 cases by source and ethnicity
  Māori Pacific peoples Asian Middle Eastern/Latin American/African European/Other Unknown
Import-related case 67 14 53 10 346 0
Imported case 74 66 711 150 1146 1
Locally acquired case, unknown source 13 15 22 6 67 0
Locally acquired, epidemiologically linked 4574 3168 751 185 1847 0

Monitoring spread within clusters of cases

Clusters of cases are groups of ten or more people who likely caught the disease from one another.

Clusters generally start where people are together in one place. Examples include:

  • a holiday or a special event (on a cruise ship, at a conference, attending weddings)
  • in their community
  • at care homes for the elderly
  • at a school.

Clusters were investigated and managed by public health officials. This included confirmed and probable cases.

Cluster details*

Cluster under investigation Location Total cases Origin Status**
August 2021 Community Auckland 10006 Under investigation Closed
Rio De La Plata Vessel Tauranga 11 Under investigation Closed
Lyttelton Mariner Lyttelton 16 Under investigation Closed
Mattina Vessel Invercargill 15 Under investigation Closed
Viking Bay Vessel Wellington 18 Under investigation Closed
Auckland February Cluster Auckland 15 Under investigation Closed
International Mariners Christchurch 33 Overseas exposure Closed
Auckland August Cluster Auckland 179 Under investigation Closed
Aged Residential Care Facility (2) Auckland 13 Overseas exposure Closed
Aged Residential Care Facility (1) Auckland 51 Unknown Closed
Aged Residential Care Facility (1) Christchurch 56 Unknown Closed
Aged Residential Care Facility (2) Christchurch 19 Unknown Closed
Private Function Auckland 40 Unknown Closed
Group travel to USA Auckland 16 Overseas exposure Closed
Ruby Princess Cruise Ship Cluster Hawke's Bay 25 Overseas exposure Closed
Community Auckland 30 Unknown Closed
Hospitality Venue Matamata 77 Overseas exposure Closed
Wedding Bluff 98 Overseas exposure Closed
Community Christchurch 14 Overseas exposure Closed
Marist College Auckland 96 Unknown Closed
World Hereford Conference Queenstown 39 Overseas exposure Closed
Aged Residential Care Facility Waikato 15 Overseas exposure Closed
Group Travel to USA Wellington 16 Overseas exposure Closed
Wedding Wellington 13 Overseas exposure Closed

* Due to the demand of higher case numbers reported daily the number of cases linked to Omicron clusters is unable to be reported. However, we will continue to accurately report the total number of cases and provide a breakdown of the cases ethnicity, age and DHB location on Current cases page.

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