COVID-19 update: 23 March 2021

Media release

23 March 2021

There is one previously reported border-related case of COVID-19 and one further case under investigation currently being managed as an active case. The border-related case was reported yesterday evening. The case under investigation is a household contact of the border-related case.

Managed isolation/historical cases and total reporting numbers are at the bottom of the media release.

Border-related case and case under investigation

Last night we announced a new COVID-19 case linked to the border after a worker at the Grand Millennium Hotel in Auckland returned a positive result yesterday evening after routine testing the day before. This person is being referred to as Case A.

Case A lives in a household of five. Rapid testing of the family was carried out last night, and adult household member has returned a weak positive test result which is under investigation with testing being repeated today.

Other members of the household have all returned negative tests.

Whole genome sequencing of Case A and the under investigation household contact are underway, and results should be available later today. The whole genome sequencing results will help us to determine whether Case A is connected to one of the recent positive cases of returnees at the Grand Millennium.

Case A remains asymptomatic. They were at work yesterday and wore a mask. Two colleagues who worked closely with Case A are now in self-isolation. The case did not work on the three days prior to yesterday.

Auckland public health officials are working rapidly to confirm Case A’s likely infectious period and the source of their infection.

Case A’s last negative fortnightly surveillance swab was taken on March 4 and they had received both doses of the Pfizer/Biotech vaccine having their first dose on February 23 and their second on March 16, as part of the border worker vaccination programme.

There is good evidence showing the vaccine is effective at preventing infection; for preventing severe disease if the vaccinated person does still get the disease; and emerging evidence for preventing transmission of the virus.

Anyone who is fully vaccinated – who has had two doses, three weeks apart, and then at least 7 days after their second dose – would be expected to have a high level of protection from COVID-19.

Location of interest

There is one confirmed location of interest.

Mt Roskill Countdown was visited briefly for around ten minutes by Case A and another family member on Saturday 20 March. Timing details will be provided on the Ministry of Health website. Anyone who visited the store around that time should be alert for symptoms of COVID-19 and if they develop symptoms they should contact Healthline for advice on getting tested.

Any new locations of interest will be notified as they are confirmed on the Ministry of Health’s website.

A reminder that COVID-19 symptoms include a new or worsening cough, fever, shortness of breath, a sore throat, sneezing, runny nose, temporary loss of smell and muscle aches.

Testing information

Auckland public health officials are closely monitoring testing capacity at the current Auckland testing sites. They will continue to assess whether they need to increase capacity at these sites or stand up new sites.

On Monday, 2,754 tests were processed. The seven-day rolling average up to yesterday is 4,438 tests processed.

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,855,315.

For up-to-date information on testing locations in Auckland, visit and all testing locations nationwide, visit the Healthpoint website.  


NZ COVID Tracer now has 2,760,817 registered users.

Poster scans have reached 229,465,056 and users have created 8,711,738 manual diary entries. There have been 906,489 scans in the last 24 hours to 1pm yesterday.

Please scan QR codes wherever you go and turn on Bluetooth tracing in the app dashboard if you haven’t already done so.

COVID-19 reporting

Further to the border-related case and case under investigation being reported, there are 3 new positive cases of COVID-19 to report in managed isolation and 1 historical case to report. The seven-day rolling average of new cases detected at the border is 5.

The number of previously reported cases that have now recovered is one. The total number of active cases in New Zealand today is 68.

Our total number of confirmed cases is 2,112.

Since 1 January 2021, there have been 41 historical cases, out of a total of 300 cases.

New border case details 

Arrival date 



Positive test day/reason 

Managed isolation/quarantine location 

17 Dec



Around day 3 / routine testing


Note: This case is classified as historical. Historical cases are not considered to be infectious. The reporting delay of this case is due to awaiting reporting confirmation from overseas health authorities.  

21 Mar


United Arab Emirates

Around day 0 / routine testing


21 Mar


United Arab Emirates

Around day 0 / routine testing


21 Mar


United Arab Emirates

Around day 0 / routine testing


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