On Friday, New Zealand confirmed 12 new cases of coronavirus, and one suspected case, as hundreds of churchgoers are warned to be screened after they may have been exposed.
Both cases are linked to the cluster found by the Auckland family on Tuesday night, health director general Dr Ashley Bloomfield said on Friday.
Two new cases of coronavirus were related to Auckland’s Americold plant, with the outbreak there rising to 13.
The managing director of the plant, Richard Winnall, said another 14 employees were still awaiting their tests.
The New Zealand Herald states that 13 of those worked on the site of Mt Wellington where one man tested positive.
Auckland’s COVID-19 cluster has expanded to 30 people as New Zealand ‘s Cabinet meets tonight to decide to expand the lockdown of the region.
The first population outbreak in more than three months has thrown New Zealanders back into the pandemic ‘s clutches, following weeks of restriction-free living.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has put Auckland in a 60-hour lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus, giving the rest of New Zealand social distancing restrictions back.
She has warned that case figures will get worse before they get better, foreshadowing a lockout extension for the Auckland.
A total of 771 Kiwis have been identified as close contacts with positive cases, and Health Manager Ashley Bloomfield said 514 have been approached by officials and told to separate themselves.
Health authorities have had more than 15,000 samples conducted, a record.
Dr Bloomfield said he hoped the numbers of cases would increase instead of increasing.
“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.”