New Zealand on Monday confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in the community in months in a 56-year-old woman. She was a recently returned traveler. The woman, who returned to New Zealand on Dec. 30, had tested positive for the South African variant of the virus after leaving a two-week compulsory quarantine where she had twice tested negative.
No other community cases had been reported since the woman’s case was revealed on Sunday and authorities think the source of the virus was probably a fellow returnee at the quarantine facility. Authorities were looking at whether the virus was circulating through the ventilation and air conditioning systems in these facilities.
15 people had been recognized as close contacts of the woman and were being contacted. However, her closest contacts, her husband and hairdresser, had tested negative, which was reassuring.