New community case of Covid-19

breaking By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

There is a new community case of Covid-19 in Aotearoa, confirmed by Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director General of Health.

Dr Bloomfield said the case in Auckland has been caught early and the risk of onward transmission has been quickly contained.

The case is a man who has been working on ports in Auckland and Taranaki in the last two weeks.

"I do want to say that because of the nature of his work, he had taken a number of precautions to limit his contact with others and his actions have been very helpful in terms of limiting the risk of further spread," said Dr Bloomfield. 

"We know the border is an area of risk for more cases of this virus to emerge and that is why we have regularised routine testing for people working at our borders and have other stringent measures in place. His close contacts are self-isolating or have gone into quarantine.

"Because he was tested on the day he developed symptoms, we’ve been able to move to quickly contain and prevent any onward transmission of the virus.

"All New Zealanders do need to remain vigilant for any symptoms of Covid-19 and, once again repeating that request, if you have any symptoms get a test, don’t wait, get it done promptly."

Background information on case

In a subsequent media release by the Ministry of Health, further details were provided regarding the case. 

New Plymouth

The man was potentially infectious on Wednesday and Thursday, October 14 and 15. 

During this time, he was in New Plymouth for work where he checked in to a hotel and a motel. The public health advice is for the rooms the man used to be deep cleaned. The ministry said it did not believe there are any close contacts at these places but said concerned staff can be tested.

The man’s close contacts from his work in New Plymouth are being scoped. He wore PPE, including a mask and gloves, while working on the vessel there.

Napier

People from a vessel that the man worked on are being treated as close contacts and that ship is due to arrive in Napier Sunday afternoon.

The ministry said they are working with authorities there and the crew on board that vessel will require a public health clearance before they can leave the vessel. The ministry has made contact with the vessel and at this point no one on board has any symptoms.

Auckland

The man travelled from New Plymouth back to Auckland on Wednesday night alone in a car. He did not work on Thursday and he has reported staying home except for a trip out to get food.

The ministry said they will prepare push notifications to go out via the NZ Covid Tracer app for potential exposure events. It is important people are using the app to keep a record of where they have been.

The man went to his workplace on Friday before feeling unwell. One close contact from his work has been identified and is isolating and has been tested.

The man is now staying at the Auckland quarantine facility. His four household contacts are in isolation and have been tested.

Ports of Auckland and Port of Taranaki testing

The man was not at the Ports of Auckland during his infectious period.

In response to this case, the ministry said it will be scaling up some testing for Covid-19 to help ensure there are no undetected cases in our community.

Testing stations will be available at Ports of Auckland and the Port of Taranaki from Monday and the ministry will be encouraging all port workers to have another test for Covid-19. This will supplement their regular testing and may mean some individuals are tested earlier than their next scheduled test.