WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand has been reporting its first coronavirus case outside a quarantine facility for more than two months, although there was no immediate evidence that the virus was spreading in the community.
Health Director General Ashley Bloomfield said on Sunday that the case was a 56-year-old woman who had recently returned from Europe.
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Like other returning travelers, she spent 14 days in quarantine and tested twice negatively before returning home on January 13th. She later developed symptoms and tested positive.
He said health officials will perform genome tests but are working on the assumption that the case is a more transmissible variant of the virus.
He said they are investigating to see if it is possible that she got the disease from another returning traveler who lived in the same quarantine facility.
New Zealand has eliminated the transmission of the virus in the community, at least for the time being.
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Bloomfield said officials are strengthening contact tracking and testing efforts and hope to have more information on the case in the coming days.