Two West Auckland supermarkets closed, a hunt began for several bus passengers and six new cases of Covid-19 were announced in Auckland - the source of two last night still under investigation - in the latest developments yesterday.
It comes as Aucklanders wait anxiously for Cabinet's big decision tomorrow and whether they will be released from alert level-3 lockdown from 11.59pm this Wednesday.
Nine of those infected in a growing community cluster first identified on August 11, and leading to a level 3 lockdown in Auckland and level 2 across the rest of New Zealand, are in hospital, including three in intensive care. There are 111 active cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, 16 of which are imported.
Countdown Te Atatū South and Countdown LynnMall supermarkets closed yesterday afternoon for cleaning after it was revealed a person later found to have Covid-19 visited both.
Countdown general manager of health and safety Kiri Hannifin said the person visited Countdown in Te Atatū South on August 12 between 3pm and 4pm, and Countdown in LynnMall on August 16 between 4pm and 5pm and again on August 17 between 6.30pm and 7.30pm.
Both stores were expected to reopen last night or early this morning.
Authorities also confirmed yesterday a person previously thought to be a mystery Covid-19 case had been linked to the Auckland cluster, after travelling on the same bus as another person infected as part of the cluster.
The search is now on for other bus travellers who might've been exposed to the virus while on the 22N bus, travelling between the Symonds St overbridge and Avondale on August 12.
Auckland Transport has confirmed there were 16 other passengers who travelled the same route, plus the driver, according to the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) investigation.
"Of those people, ARPHS has identified 11 as close contacts. Nine of these people are being contacted by the National Investigation and Tracing Centre with advice on self-isolation and testing," the service said.
The remaining two people didn't use registered AT HOP cards.
"Because of this, we do not have their contact details. Our advice is that anyone who knows that they took the same bus as the confirmed cases between 10.30am and 1.04pm on August 12 should self-isolate, call Healthline (0800 358 5453) for advice and get tested as soon as possible."
Five others who travelled on the bus are not considered at risk as they got off before the cases boarded.
The two people later found to have Covid-19 took other bus trips during their infectious periods and those are being investigated, with more information to be released as it becomes available.
Meanwhile, a family returning from overseas have had their 14 days of isolation re-started after they mixed together.
The family had earlier been split into three bubbles in a quarantine hotel, a
Managed Isolation and Quarantine spokesman said.
"There was one recent bubble breach involving a returnee family that had been split into three bubbles to manage their quarantine. This was picked up quickly showing the system is working."
There'd been no other bubble breaches at the Jet Park quarantine hotel in Auckland.
Roving and static patrols were taking place in corridors, people don't have swipe cards so can't re-enter if they exit and exercise is constantly monitored.
And New Zealand Post said yesterday 70 staff members who worked the same shift at its Auckland parcel processing centre - which has recorded two positive Covid-19 cases - were now self-isolating until next Saturday.
"This is for the remainder of the two-week incubation period from when the last infectious staff member was on site, which was Friday August 14," said NZ Post chief operating officer Mark Stewart.
The move, which affects 70 staff who worked the day shift at the NZ Post Auckland Operations Centre in Highbrook, was based on Ministry of Health advice received late Friday night.
Since the two positive tests were returned, 300 people who worked at the centre had been tested.
While no additional positive tests had been returned yet, a further two people were unwell.
Delivery of mail was not affected at this stage.