Covid-19: Countdown store closes after being told staff member 'may have tested positive'

A managed isolation facility (MIQ) worker visited an Auckland kindergarten prior to testing positive for Covid-19, and a Countdown store closed for a deep clean after also being linked to the case.
Case A visited BestStart St Lukes kindergarten to pick-up a grandchild on Friday March 19, according to Fiona Hughes, a spokeswoman for the kindergarten.

A Countdown store in Auckland CBD also confirmed it closed for a deep clean after a staff anggota said they may have tested positive for Covid.

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The managed isolation facility worker Case A, visited BestStart St Lukes kindergarten on Friday March 19 prior to testing positive.

But neither the kindergarten nor the supermarket have been disclosed by health officials as locations of interest.


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The managed isolation facility worker, Case A, tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday during routine testing.

They visited BestStart to pick-up a grandchild and were at the premises for three minutes, according to Hughes.


Countdown Quay street was closed around Tuesday midday, after being contacted by a staff anggota who said they may have tested positive for Covid in connection with Case A, said Countdown spokeswoman Kate Porter.

As a precaution, we talked to our store team and closed the store just before midday to undertake a deep clean and wait for further advice.

Porter could not comment on whether it was required of them by the Ministry of Health.

Porter said they have been in regular contact with the Auckland Regional Public Health and the ministry for guidance.

Stuff
Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield give an update on a new case. A family anggota of the MIQ cleaner from the Grand Millennium hotel who has contracted Covid has a weak-positive result.

She also declined to comment on whether the staffer has returned to work and what advice had been given to close and casual contacts of the staffer as the case continues to be investigated.

Both Countdown Quay St and the kindergarten had closed for a deep clean on Tuesday and have reopened today.

There is one confirmed location of interest linked to the case, Mt Roskill Countdown, on March 20, between 3pm and 3.15pm.


Hughes said they were told by Auckland Regional Public Health Services (ARPHS) on Monday evening that a Covid case had visited their premises, and recommended to close for Tuesday.

She said the kindergarten made its own decision to close as a precaution but was not required to by the ministry.

Parents were sent text messages and emails on Tuesday morning and told the kindergarten is closed out of precautions however were not told about the Covid cases visit until later in the afternoon.


Hughes said this was because the case was still being investigated throughout Tuesday and they did not receive an official letter of advice for parents from ARPHS until later on Tuesday.

She said parents and staff were not advised to be tested, but told to watch out for symptoms and seek medical assistance when needed.

Hughes said she is not aware of any staff or children being classed as close or casual contacts by the Ministry.


She said Case A was on their premises for less than three minutes and did not have any close contact with staff members or other children.

On Wednesday morning, Dr Ashley Bloomfield told Breakfast that the family anggota of Case A, who earlier returned a weak positive result, has returned a negative test result in retesting and remains asymptomatic.

Bloomfield said the earlier weak positive result could have been a false positive or signs of an earlier infection.

He said further testing will be conducted on this family anggota as they continue to investigate the case.

The Ministry of Health has been approached for comment.

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