College hostel in Waikato reopens after potential Covid-19 exposure tests negative

Ōtorohanga College, in Waikato, will reopen its hostel tomorrow after a temporary closure due to potential Covid-19 exposure within the school's community.

Otorohanga College. Source: Google Maps

In a Facebook post this morning, the school said a Covid-positive person who was on a flight from Auckland to Wellington may have been in contact with those who attended a community meeting in Kāwhia.

The post said the case did not attend the hui.

"As a precaution, and in the interest of keeping safe, we are asking everyone who has had contact with anyone at the meeting to urgently get Covid tested and to isolate until you get a negative test," the post says.

"As a precaution the hostel will be temporarily closed until we can ensure it is safe to reopen."

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A new cluster has emerged after a NZDF employee contracted coronavirus at Auckland’s Jet Park Hotel quarantine facility. Source: 1 NEWS

In a later post, the school said the contacts to the positive case have since returned negative results and the hostel will be reopened tomorrow.

"Apologies for the disruption and concern, however it is always best to be too cautious, rather than not careful enough."

Waikato DHB confirmed the person at the hui was a casual contact "with minimal risk of exposure" to the positive case on the plane.

"As, based on current information, the students would be considered casual contacts of someone who was also a casual contact, the DHB’s public health team has advised the school it may continue to operate as normal at this time."

Principal Traci Lidall also this morning told 1 NEWS there is “very limited risk” to the students but they’re taking every precaution.

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The partner of a man who sat near the infected person says they have received conflicting advice from the Ministry of Health. Source: 1 NEWS

She says the students are “about four steps removed” from the actual infected person - described as a member of their school community.

The school was told about the link this morning and closed the school hostel, where 40 students normally stay.

Yesterday there was one new community case of the virus confirmed in New Zealand.

The new case was a close contact of a staff member from the Jet Park Hotel who was confirmed to have contracted Covid-19 the day before.

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Both are workers with the Defence Force, the Ministry of Health said. While the first case works at the quarantine facility, yesterday's case is based at Defence House in Wellington, which has 1300 people working there.

They had a meeting together on Wednesday before yesterday's case travelled back home from Auckland to Wellington.