Whole genome sequencing carried out overnight has confirmed the two border-related COVID-19 cases that were reported out of cycle last night are observed to be variant 20C/501Y.V2 (lineage B.1.351), first identified in South Africa. From the information we currently have, it appears these cases have a link to the managed isolation facility at the Pullman Hotel however further investigation is currently underway to confirm how close the lineage of these cases is to the previously reported case in Northland.
The two latest cases have now been transferred to a quarantine facility in Auckland, separate from the Pullman. A third family member, who has returned negative COVID-19 tests, is currently isolating at home.
Eight locations of interest have been identified in relation to the two latest cases and are listed on our website. From information available so far, we have identified 11 close contacts – all of whom are isolating and have had their first test. Five results have come back negative, and the results of the remainder are still to come back.