New Zealand has first COVID-19 community case in over 2 months

New Zealand has reported its first coronavirus community case in over two months.

Staff wearing personal protective equipment check the temperature of patients in front of a medical centre on March 24, 2020 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo: Blooomberg)

The patient, a 56-year-old woman, recently returned from Europe, said Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield on Sunday.

The woman spent 14 days in quarantine and tested negative for the virus twice before being returning home on January 13. She later developed symptoms and tested positive.

Despite being the first case in several weeks outside of a quarantine facility, authorities say there is no immediate evidence the virus was spreading in the community.

Bloomfield said investigations are being carried out to see if the patient could have the disease from another returning traveller at the quarantine facility.

Contact tracing and testing efforts have been increased with the hope of being able to provide more information in the coming days.