Thousands of New Zealanders have been forced into quarantine after two new cases of coronavirus were diagnosed overnight.
Both are siblings of a high school student who tested positive on Tuesday, with one a teenage worker at Kmart.
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 self isolating at home.
Papatoetoe High School confirmed that all staff and students would be retested before they go home on Tuesday afternoon
New Zealand has diagnosed a new local case of coronavirus with a high school student at Papatoetoe High School testing positive
The latest outbreak in New Zealand is confirmed to be the highly infectious ‘mutant’ UK strain of the virus.
The student was tested on Tuesday and had not returned to the school since, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said.
Papatoetoe High School also confirmed that all staff and students would be re-tested before they go home.
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 displaying symptoms.
Papatoetoe High School had recently been shut in response to the outbreak of cases and only reopened to students who tested negative on Monday.
Meanwhile, up to 31 staff at the Kmart store in Botany are considered close contacts of the teenage worker who tested positive.
All staff members have been advised to isolate and get tested immediately for symptoms.
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 potential casual contact.
They have also been advised to stay home and get tested as soon as possible.
Health authorities in New Zealand are encouraging anyone displaying symptoms for Covid-19 to get tested immediately
A teenage worker from Kmart in Botany (pictured above) has also returned a positive result for Covid-19
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed the teenager, who worked at Kmart’s Botany store, had been handling clothes, among other small tasks, during her shifts last week.
‘She was 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.’
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 placed 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
Nurses are seen speaking to people outside a Covid-19 pop up clinic in Auckland
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.