Covid 19 coronavirus: 25 in isolation after Auckland quarantine worker case

Twenty-five close contacts of the quarantine worker at the centre of New Zealand’s latest Covid-19 outbreak have been put into isolation.

The Auckland Jet Park worker has tested positive for Covid-19, the Ministry of Health has confirmed. At this stage there has been no further spread – that case is the only new one reported today.

“We have identified 25 close contacts of the worker, and they have all been contacted, are isolated, and are being tested,” the ministry said. “To date, six have returned a negative test result and the remaining are pending.

“As in other cases, this person quickly got tested after developing symptoms, which has allowed us to act quickly to stop the spread of the virus.”

The ministry also revealed it has uncovered a historical case – someone who arrived in New Zealand on October 5 from London via Singapore.

Upon arrival at their managed isolation facility they alerted staff to their previous positive test which was confirmed in London on September 19.

They were tested again and returned a positive result on October 5. The ministry said it was likely an old infection, consistent with the earlier positive result.

“We are awaiting confirmation that the case has been recorded in the United Kingdom totals, and until then are classifying it as a historical case which will be reported in our case numbers.”

The ministry is still investigating the movements of the Jet Park worker who visited Auckland’s Mezze Bar and a Queen St bottle shop when he was infected. Both premises closed for a deep clean.

“A review of the movements of the case and their contacts is underway. The case has provided a very detailed account of their movements which has informed a rapid contact tracing response.”

The ministry urged people to keep using the contact tracing app.

Three previously reported cases have now recovered, bringing the total number of active cases to 43.

Total confirmed cases are now 1620.

Yesterday, 5834 people were tested for Covid-19, bringing the total number of tests to 1,132,820.

It is at least the seventh time in just over three months that Covid-19 has been passed from inside a managed isolation or quarantine (MIQ) facility into the community.

The others are the Rydges maintenance worker, the Jet Park nurse, the overseas returnee who caught Covid from a shared rubbish bin lid and tested positive after leaving MIQ, the port engineer, and the two Sudima nurses. The August cluster is also likely to have come from an MIQ facility, though there is no evidence.

The infection prevention and control measures have been audited twice and are currently being looked at by Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall, who is an infectious diseases specialist, in light of recent cases among border-facing workers.

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