Dr Bloomfield says Auckland lockdown decision pinned on remaining gym contact tests

Source: 1News

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield says it's still too early to make a decision on Auckland coming out of lockdown while tests from contacts at gym visited by a Covid-19 case still come in.

Speaking to media today, Bloomfield said Auckland's current Alert Level 3 status remains justified.

The city went into lockdown on Sunday morning after a 21-year-old man, known as Case M, was confirmed with the illness on Saturday.

His positive test came after he visited City Fitness in Papatoetoe on February 20 and 26, as well as Manukau Institute of Technology and multiple food outlets throughout last week.

Of the 185 City Fitness attendees, so far 156 have returned negative tests. The remaining tests are being followed up today.

"The reason we gave advice around using Alert Level 3 in Auckland was because we had, in Case M, an active case who had been in the community for nearly a week and the last significant exposure event was on that Friday afternoon at the gym and we're not yet a week on from that," Bloomfield said.

"Yes, we have found many of the people who were at that gym, they're all casual plus contacts, and so far the testing is promising. But there are still some we need to get test results back on and, of course, we need them to remain isolated until we get those negative test results."

Cabinet is planning to meet tomorrow to make a decision about the current alert levels.

The restrictions, Level 3 in Auckland and Level 2 for the rest of the country, are currently set to last at least until this weekend — seven days after they came into force.

Bloomfield said if new cases pop up in coming days, it would depend on their "nature" — meaning if they are able to be linked to existing cases and the kind of exposure in the community — as to whether or not it would halt any move down alert levels.