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Coolstore COVID outbreak brings quick response

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Work colleagues of one of the family at the centre of the South Auckland COVID-19 outbreak are also showing symptoms.

One of the family works for a finance company in Mount Wellington which has several sites across Auckland, while her partner works in a cool store.

The Auckland super city area went back into Level 3 lockdown at noon as authorities scramble to trace and test anyone who may have come into contact with the family, four of whose members have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says four members of the family, including one who was symptomatic, travelled to Rotorua at the weekend and visited a number of tourism venues.

He says people in Rotorua and Taupo should be vigilant for symptoms.

The Vaughan Rd testing site in Rotorua is open, and another pop up site will open soon.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the dissolution of parliament, which was due to happen today, has been deferred until at least Monday. A member of the Māori pandemic response group says the health system should now have the capacity to deal quickly with an outbreak of community transmission of COVID-19.

Dr Rawiri Jansen says overnight all the systems that are needed were turned on, and there should be sufficient capacity in labs and clinics for large scale testing if needed.

“We need to do a really thorough job right now, go hard and go early, on any possible contacts or people have been near these workplaces – there’s one in the CBD and there’s another workplace from this household out in the west and the whānau lives in South Auckland so I guess we immediately recognise it’s all of us,” he says.

Dr Jansen says because flu cases are relatively light this winter, the testing stations should not be overwhelmed with people coming in to get symptoms checked.

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