Health officials are urging staff and students of an Auckland primary school to be tested for Covid-19 after a 10-year-old female pupil was confirmed to be infectious.
It comes as seven new cases of the virus were announced yesterday, bringing the total number of active cases to 77.
And New Zealand officially entered its first recession for 11 years, a casualty of the Covid fallout hammering economies around the world.
Chapel Downs School in Flat Bush announced yesterday it was closing its doors until at least next Monday for a deep clean after the pupil tested positive for the virus. She is understood to be connected to the Botany sub-cluster in Auckland.
A pop-up Covid testing site will be set up at the school.
The student and three close contacts were last at the school on Monday.
The four youngsters were only at the Flat Bush school for 30 minutes before they were picked up at 9am.
"The child received a positive test result for the virus later that day," the post said.
Auckland Regional Public Health Service was working to identify any close contacts - any students and staff members who might have been closer than 2m to the student for more than 15 minutes - of the four students.
Parents had been asked to keep their children at home until contacted by the ARPHS. Staff had also been advised to stay home from school.
Principal Vaughan van Rensburg said public health officials informed the school of the case at 2pm on Wednesday.
"The community has been really supportive and we're looking forward to seeing the kids back at school," he said.
Parents had been urged to remain vigilant for Covid-19 symptoms in their children, including a new or worsening cough, a sore throat, runny nose or fever.
"Finally, if you know the identity of the student or family with Covid-19, please do not disclose their names or details to anyone else, and discourage your children from speculating or identifying them on social media," parents were told.
"This can lead to online bullying and abuse."
On Monday, the Ministry of Health confirmed there was one community case to report - a young girl who was epidemiologically linked to an existing case associated with the Botany sub-cluster.
That sub-cluster, now made up of six people, is genomically linked to the wider-Auckland August cluster.
Health officials said that day the child had been in isolation since August 30, as she was a household contact of an earlier confirmed case.
Man escapes from Rotorua quarantine
Meanwhile, security has been bolstered at a Rotorua managed isolation hotel after a man escaped through a fenced area on Wednesday night.
The man was missing for half an hour from the Sudima Rotorua hotel - sparking a search by NZ Defence Force staff.
Police were investigating and checking CCTV security footage to establish where the man went during that time.
"However, indications are that he did not move beyond the immediate area," head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine air commodore Darryn Webb said yesterday.
Finance Minister on bouncing back from recession
This morning the Finance Minister Grant Robertson was upbeat about the future, saying there were signs the recession was over and New Zealand would back bounce back quickly.
He told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking the "going hard, going early" strategy to deal with Covid-19 had not only saved lives but livelihoods. As a consequence the country was rebounding back fast.
"It represents a one-in-100-year shock to the economy and we will rebound fast."
"We are coming back strongly from this," said Robertson.
He said the country appeared to have weathered the worst of the Covid downturn, declaring: "The recession is finished."
The finance minister said he expected the next quarter's figures to show growth and significant bounce back although there was uncertainty how big the bounce back would be.
Despite falling into recession in the second quarter, the Government chose an approach that was the best for public health policy and he remained convinced it was the best path to recovery on all fronts.
Taking measures to lockdown the country and provide substantial government assistance to business had meant the Covid response was done in such a way that was quicker and better.
He said that already started to play out economically with a 2 per cent year-on-year growth in July.
And he was confident the third quarter would show considerable improvement.
"It will certainly be a very solid bounce back because we've seen some very high levels of activity.
"We're focused on the future and making sure we come out of this as strong as possible."
The seven new cases of Covid-19 announced yesterday were all identified as having been in managed isolation in Auckland when tested.
The Ministry of Health said, with the exception of one arrival from Uzbekistan, all new cases were detected as a result of day three testing and were now in quarantine.
The new cases in managed isolation include:
• A woman in her 30s who arrived from the United States on September 12 and is in managed isolation in Wellington.
• A man in his 60s who arrived from India on September 12 and is in managed isolation in Auckland.
• A man in his 30s who arrived from India on September 12 and is in managed isolation in Auckland.
• A woman in her 20s who arrived from India on September 12 and is in managed isolation in Auckland.
• A man in his 40s who arrived from Indonesia on September 12 and is in managed isolation in Christchurch.
• A child aged between 1 and 4 who arrived from India on September 12 and is in managed isolation in Auckland.
• A woman in her 50s who arrived from Uzbekistan on September 14. She was tested in Auckland after appearing symptomatic.
There were no new community cases announced yesterday. Four people were in hospital but no one was in ICU.
There were 54 people linked to the community cluster who remained in the Auckland quarantine facility.
That included 23 people who had tested positive for Covid-19 and their household contacts.
Combining yesterday's new cases with nine additional recovered cases, New Zealand's total number of active cases is 77.
Asked about the Covid numbers yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it showed "we are on track - our plan is working".
On Wednesday, laboratories processed 8185 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 889,717, the ministry's spokesperson said.
There are now 2,228,300 users registered on NZ Covid Tracer.