Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after a press conference at Parliament on July 22 in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Auckland is locking down and the rest of New Zealand faces lesser restrictions for 72 hours after four members of the same family tested positive for COVID-19, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's the first cases not in managed isolation for 102 days, Ardern said at a news briefing.

"Together we have beaten the virus before. We can do so again."
— Ardern

What to expect: From noon Wednesday until midnight Friday in Auckland, in-person school lessons will be closed to all but the children of essential workers, non-essential businesses can open, but there must be no physical interaction with customers and the Aucklanders are advised to work from home.

  • Those who outside of Auckland will not be allowed to travel to New Zealand's most populous city for the lockdown period.
  • Social distancing measures will be reintroduced and larger gatherings, such as for events like funerals, will also be limited across the country.

What happened: NZ's top health official Ashley Bloomfield added that a young child was among those to test positive. The family member who initially tested positive for the virus has no history of overseas travel, he said.

Flashback: New Zealand beats coronavirus

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases increase in 17 states

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

Coronavirus infections ticked up slightly over the past week, thanks to scattered outbreaks in every region of the country.

Where it stands: The U.S. has been making halting, uneven progress against the virus since August. Overall, we're moving in the right direction, but we're often taking two steps forward and one step back.

NYC mayor to furlough employees for a week, including himself

Bill de Blasio attends the 9/11 Memorial & Museum on Sept. 11. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that all employees in his office, including himself, will be subject to a one-week furlough sometime between October and March.

The big picture: The pandemic is on pace to hit cities' finances even harder than the Great Recession. Many face no choice but to cut services, layoff or furlough workers and freeze capital projects.

Updated Sep 16, 2020 - Health

Top HHS spokesperson takes leave of absence after accusing scientists of "sedition"

Michael Caputo in Washington, D.C. in May 2018. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Michael Caputo is taking a 60 day leave of absence "to focus on his health and the well-being of his family," the agency said in a statement on Wednesday.

Driving the news: Caputo baselessly accused career scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a Facebook livestream on Sunday of gathering a "resistance unit" for "sedition" against President Trump, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. He apologized to staff on Tuesday, according to Politico.