No new community cases; 6 cases of COVID-19 in managed isolation

Media release

25 March 2021

There are no new community cases to report today. There are 6 new positive cases of COVID-19 to report in managed isolation.

Grand Mercure managed isolation facility Auckland

As part of investigations into a recent ‘day 12’ case at the Grand Mercure managed isolation facility in Auckland, health officials are looking at the possibility of a transmission within this facility.

Results from genome sequencing show a link between two returnees at the Grand Mercure. The infection for both returnees is confirmed as B.1.1.7, the variant first identified in the UK.

The returnees were staying in separate rooms on different floors. They arrived on separate flights within two days of each other. An investigation into the source of the infection is underway.

At this stage, no other cases within the facility have been found linked to these two cases but investigations continue.

As a precautionary measure, around 250 returnees who have left the facility since 10 March are being contacted today, asked to get tested immediately and remain in isolation at home until a negative result is returned.

Other immediate steps taken include additional on-site testing being provided and exit tests put in place for all returnees leaving the facility. The Ministry of Health and MBIE will communicate with all current returnees within this facility about any public health measures being put in place for them.

Additional surveillance testing of staff at the Grand Mercure facility is being put in place as a further precautionary measure.

Both returnee cases have been previously publicly reported and one is the case previously reported related to two bus journeys from the Grand Mercure to an exercise area.

The classification of 14 returnees who were also on the bus as close contacts is based on a public health assessment of the exposure event, in this case the bus. The assessment will have included consideration of proximity to the case, amount of time that they may have been exposed, how infectious the case was likely to have been at the time, whether the virus is a new more infectious variant, and whether infection, prevention and control protocols were followed.

There is no evidence of any COVID-19 cases in the community connected to this situation at this time.

MBIE is conducting an internal investigation into the bus journeys to determine what happened in this case and what improvements, if any, can be made to strengthen their processes.

Grand Millennium managed isolation facility Auckland

As previously reported, Case A’s household member remains under investigation following one weak positive result followed by a negative test result. They are being managed as a close contact rather than as a case with further testing planned.

Auckland regional public health officials consider there to be a very low risk to the person’s workmates at Countdown Auckland City, but have discussed the results with the supermarket’s health and safety team. As a precautionary measure, it was agreed that some colleagues identified as working closely with the person under investigation will stay home until they receive a day 5 negative test.

Shoppers and other staff are not considered to be at risk.

Testing information

Testing remains steady across the current Auckland testing sites. These will continue to assess whether they need to increase capacity at these sites or stand up new sites.

On Wednesday, 6,209 tests were processed. The seven-day rolling average up to yesterday is 4,575 tests processed.
The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 1,867,966.

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

NZ COVID Tracer - update to app

NZ COVID Tracer now has 2,763,330 registered users.

Poster scans have reached 230,464,258 and users have now created more than 8,738,888 manual diary entries.

An update to the app now means another 100,000 New Zealanders with older iPhones will be able turn on the Bluetooth tracing function of the app.

Version 4.0.0 has now been released to extend Bluetooth support to iPhone 5S, 6 and 6+.

We’ve already seen solid support for the Bluetooth function – there are almost 1,190,276 participating devices – and the update overnight means more New Zealanders can enjoy an extra layer of precaution.

Turning on the Bluetooth functionality will allow you to receive an alert if you have been near another app user who tests positive for COVID-19.

When someone tests positive for COVID-19, the faster they can provide contact tracers with information about where they’ve been, the faster contact tracers can get ahead of the virus and break the chain of transmission.

It’s incredibly important we all scan the QR codes wherever we see them, as the more we all scan, the safer we’ll all be. If you can’t scan then please keep a record of where you have been. The NZ COVID Tracer app is one way to do this through the manual entry option.

COVID-19 reporting

There are 6 new positive cases of COVID-19 to report in managed isolation. 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 2. The total number of active cases in New Zealand today is 71.

Our total number of confirmed cases is 2,120.

Since 1 January 2021, there have been 41 historical cases, out of a total of 308 cases.

New border case details 

Arrival date  From  Via  Positive test day/reason  Managed isolation/quarantine location 
21 Mar Denmark United Arab Emirates Around day 3 / routine testing Auckland
23 Mar India United Arab Emirates Around day 0 / routine testing Auckland
23 Mar India United Arab Emirates Around day 0 / routine testing Auckland
23 Mar Serbia and Montenegro United Arab Emirates Around day 0 / routine testing Auckland
23 Mar India United Arab Emirates Around day 0 / routine testing Auckland
23 Mar India United Arab Emirates Around day 0 / routine testing Auckland
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