Likely Covid-19 contraction point for maintenance worker at Auckland's Rydges hotel confirmed

The investigation into how a maintenance worker at a managed isolation hotel in Auckland became infected with Covid-19 has been closed.

Rydges Hotel in Auckland. Source: Getty

The Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said yesterday the source of infection was likely a one-off “exposure event”.

“That being surface transmission in an elevator that the worker used after a returnee from the United States who tested positive for Covid-19.”

He said there had been widespread testing of the worker’s contacts both in his household and workplace. All tested negative for Covid-19 and no other cases were detected.

On August 18 it was revealed the worker had tested positive for the virus. He was quickly genomically linked to a returnee who had earlier tested positive for the virus.

After an investigation into how the maintenance worker would be infected by the woman when they had no physical contact with one another, it was concluded the only mode of transmission was the hotel’s lift.

According to the Ministry of Health, the maintenance worker had used the lift mere minutes after the woman had been inside.

During his briefing yesterday, Bloomfield acknowledged the support the maintenance worker and staff from the Rydges Hotel had given them during the investigation.

“Case investigations are complex processes and their success relies on the cooperation of the case, their contacts and their employers.

“The cooperation of everyone involved in this situation allowed us to complete a thorough and complex investigation, which allowed us to conclude there was no onward transmission from the maintenance worker.”