Worker at Jet Park isolation facility among two new Covid-19 cases today

There are two news cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, including a worker from a managed isolation facility.


The first new case is a returnee, who is in managed isolation, and the second is a health worker from Auckland's Jet Park quarantine facility. 

The returnee in managed isolation arrived from South Africa on September 8 and remains in quarantine in Canterbury.

Five household contacts of the health worker are in isolation at their home and are being tested today, the Ministry of Health said.

It's currently unknown if the worker became infected through the community or within the quarantine facility.

There are no obvious links to other cases in the community that have been established at this stage.

The health worker is believed to have picked up Covid-19 in between weekly tests carried out on all staff working in the facility, after testing negative last week, the Health Ministry said.

The results of genomic testing are expected tomorrow and will help to inform the investigation.

Today's new case marks the first time a staff member at Jet Park has tested positive for Covid-19 in five-and-a-half months of operation.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service is working closely with the quarantine facility to help with double checking protocols and procedures for keeping safe both staff and people they’re caring for.

Staff at the facility regarded as close contacts have been stood down and a deep clean of staff areas at the facility has been completed, the Ministry said.

All staff at the quarantine facility are being retested over the next 48 hours. Forty-eight staff have were tested last night, with more being tested today.

A mobile testing unit will be operating at the quarantine facility today to assist with the usual testing service. 

Air Commodore Darren Webb, head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine, said work is also underway to review staffing logs, swipe card data and CCTV footage in order to map the person's movement within the facility over recent days.

"The Auckland Jet Park Hotel quarantine facility is a tightly controlled environment and as with all managed isolation and quarantine facilities, it operates with strict infection prevention control protocols at all times," Webb said.

"Hospital grade cleaning of medical and operational staff rooms has been carried out using a Bioquell machine, which sanitises with hydrogen peroxide vapour.

"Our thoughts are with this staff member and their colleagues at this time, and we are actively supporting them through the investigation and follow up."

The number of cases in the bereavement events sub-cluster stands at 15, while the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship group remains at 33.

There are 63 people linked to the community cluster who remain in the Auckland quarantine facility, which includes 38 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their household contacts.

Three people remain in hospital with Covid-19 – one is in isolation on a ward in Auckland City Hospital. Two are in the ICU at North Shore and Waikato hospitals.

New Zealand's total number of active cases now stands at 97, of which 39 are imported cases in MIQ facilities, and 58 are community cases.

The total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 is now 1,446.

Health Ministry laboratories processed 7,211 tests, bringing the total number of tests completed to date to 864,469.

There are now 2,199,500 users registered on NZ COVID Tracer, which has recorded a total of 55,864,131 poster scans. Users have created 2,804,191 manual diary entries in the app.

There have been 368,120 QR codes created to be displayed around the country.