Coronavirus Back in New Zealand After 102 Days

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 12, 2020 -- Four cases of COVID-19 have turned up in Auckland, New Zealand, after 102 days of no new reported infections in that country, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

The four cases have been confined to one household, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has asked people in Auckland to stay home and bars and many other businesses will close for three days.

"These three days will give us time to assess the situation, gather information, make sure we have widespread contact tracing so we can find out more about how this case arose and make decisions about how to respond to it once we have further information," Ardern said at a news conference late Tuesday.

"I know that this information will be very difficult to receive," Ardern said. "We had all hoped not to find ourselves in this position again. But we had also prepared for it. And as a team, we have also been here before."

Also, she is banning traveling into Auckland unless it's traveling home.

In the rest of the nation mass gatherings will be limited to 100 attendees and people would need to socially distance themselves from each other until Friday.

On Monday, one person tested positive for the virus and six other people in the household were then tested, with three more positive results, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said.

"Importantly, the person has no history of overseas travel," Bloomfield said, adding that the source of the infections isn't known.

Before these cases the only known infections were 22 travelers who had returned from abroad and were being held in quarantine, the AP reported.

New Zealand had gotten rid of the virus by a strict lockdown in late March when only about 100 had the disease. That stopped its spread.

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