The Auckland high school at the centre of one of the country's largest Covid-19 outbreaks will re-open on Monday despite a "new" case reported this week.

Marist college said the person, who was sick with symptoms of the virus in late March but previously tested negative, was not considered to be infectious.

Their case came to light after the entire school was recently re-tested, and was a "weakly positive" test.

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"This new case does not signal any further spread of Covid-19, rather that the test can detect viral genetic material weeks after a person has recovered," the school said in a statement.

"Auckland Regional Public Health Service [ARPHS] confirm it is unlikely there is still virus circulating in the Marist community."

The person would stay home as a precaution until they have a negative test result.

"ARPHS has informed the Board that it still considers Marist College safe for students to return on Monday 18 May."

New data released by the Ministry of Health on the Marist cluster shows that 96 people connected to the school have tested positive for Covid-19.

An Auckland father says he was twice denied a coronavirus test before he tested positive. One week after he first felt ill, Geoff Muliaga Brown was admitted to hospital, struggling to breathe. Video / Geoff Muliaga Brown

The onset of the first case was on March 12, a week before the first test - a teacher - came back positive. It spread to a handful more people over the next few days. Ten people caught the virus on March 16 alone, the data shows.

It is still unknown where the first person - the index patient - in the cluster caught the virus. It was believed to have spread via the staff room, and school events.

Marist College's school calendar shows a fiafia night was held on Saturday, March 14, and an extended whānau meeting on March 18.


The transmission of the virus slowed almost completely by the end of March. Just two new cases were reported after that - one in mid-April, and the "new" case yesterday.

The school has told parents there had been 46 cases directly associated with Marist. The others are family or "close contacts" of those at the school.

Principal Raechelle Taulu, who was one of those who had recovered from the virus, said Marist College continued to follow the guidance it received from the Auckland Regional Health Board.

She said as a school they had ensured they had exceeded the social distancing, hygiene and wellbeing measures communicated to all schools by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education.

"Our board of trustees and our staff have worked hard to prepare for the return of our young women on Monday," she said.

"We are all looking forward to welcoming our students through our school gates and hearing their voices echoing throughout our classrooms and corridors."