New Zealand has announced 12 new coronavirus cases on Friday and one probable case, as hundreds of churchgoers are warned to get tested after they were possibly exposed.
All cases are linked to the Auckland family cluster detected on Tuesday night, Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said on Friday.
Two new coronavirus cases have been linked to the Americold factory in Auckland, with the outbreak there climbing to 13.
The factory’s managing director, Richard Winnall, said there were still 14 other workers who were awaiting their results.
The New Zealand Herald reports 13 of those worked at the Mt Wellington site where one man had tested positive.
Auckland's COVID-19 cluster has grown to 30 people as New Zealand's Cabinet meets this afternoon to decide on extending the city's lockdown.
The first community outbreak in more than three months has thrown New Zealanders back into the clutches of the pandemic, after weeks of living free of restrictions.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern placed Auckland into a 60-hour lockdown to suppress the spread of the virus, returning social distancing restrictions to the rest of New Zealand.
She has warned case numbers will get worse before they get better, foreshadowing an extension of the Auckland's lockdown.
A total of 771 Kiwis have been identified as close contacts of positive cases, and Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said 514 had been contacted by officials and asked to isolate – meeting their own targets.
Health officials also processed more than 15,000 tests, a record.
Dr Bloomfield said he hoped case numbers would continue to stabilise rather than grow.
"There is some heroic work out there ... this is exactly the sort of pace we had geared up for," he said.
"I'm never pleased to see another case but I'm pleased we are identifying additional cases.
"Because this is a cluster, the numbers will grow out."
Hundreds who attended church service warned
Hundreds of churchgoers in south Auckland are also being urged to get tested after two people returned a positive result following a church service on Sunday.
Stuff.co.nz reports there were 300 others who also attended the service at the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa Māngere East Puaseisei.
“It’s unfortunate that we’ve had someone come to church that [has since] tested positive,” Reverend Victor Pousei told Stuff.
“I’ve told the church members all to get tested as a precaution.”
A boy, 6, also tested positive for coronavirus and has become one of the youngest confirmed cases in the country.
Two teachers and 28 students who shared a classroom with the boy at south Auckland's Southern Cross Campus have been instructed to self-isolate.
Virus spreads out of Auckland
There are fears the virus in New Zealand may be spreading outside of Auckland, with two of the new positive tests in Tokoroa, about 200 kilometres from the city.
Stuff reports there are up to six possible cases of coronavirus in the area.
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