Last night we issued an alert through the NZ COVID Tracer App to people who had been at The Malt pub in Greenhithe on October 16. One of the cases we reported yesterday, who is a workplace contact of the port worker we reported on Sunday, visited the pub from 7.30 – 10pm on Friday.
Anyone who was at that pub on Friday night and their household contacts should self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19. They should remain in isolation until they receive their results. We will ensure those results are returned as quickly as possible once the test is processed.
The metro Auckland DHBs have opened two additional community testing centres on the North Shore – a pop-up centre is open today at North Wainoni Park in Greenhithe, and a surge centre is open for a week from today at Northcare Accident and Medical off Constellation Drive.
COVID-19 testing is also available across the city at the six permanent community testing centres, and at urgent care clinics and all general practices. Three community testing centres are confirmed to stay open through the long weekend – those are Northcote Community Testing Centre, Northcare Accident and Medical, and the Whanau Ora Community Clinic in Wiri. A reminder that wherever you get swabbed, a COVID-19 test is free of charge.
The pub is what we call an “exposure event” – where people have potentially been in contact with COVID-19 by being in the same place at the same time as someone who has been infected with the virus. It’s another example of the importance of keeping track of where you have been and who you have seen, and of scanning in using the app wherever you go. Quickly getting in touch with people who may have been exposed to the virus and getting them isolated and tested is how we limit the spread of COVID-19.
A family member of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 also attended Rangitoto College briefly after returning a negative test, and before subsequently going into isolation. Auckland Regional Public Health Service has assessed the risk to the school community as being very low, but they have been provided with information and reassurance today as part of our precautionary approach.
If you are contacted by public health staff and asked to be tested because you are a possible contact – please get tested promptly and remain in isolation until you receive the result. Even if this is negative, monitor your health for the next two weeks – the incubation period. Please also consider ways you can minimise social contact for the full 14 days after your potential exposure and be diligent about using the NZ COVID Tracer app to record where you’ve been. Anyone who is a close contact will of course be self-isolating at home for the 14 days and regularly monitored. These additional precautions will help us all limit any potential for the virus to spread.
We are heading into a long weekend which will provide a well-earned break for many people – but remember, this virus doesn’t take breaks.
Wherever you go and whatever you do over Labour weekend, record it.
If you see a QR code, scan it. This is particularly important as many people may be moving around the country, and you may not recall later the names and places of everywhere you visit if you are away from home.
Even if you have fallen out of the habit of using the app, please start again – reset your habits and go from now. And to businesses, make sure your QR code is visible and easily accessible, and please encourage people to scan in.
In addition to using the app, we also all need to make sure we’re washing our hands regularly, keeping surfaces clean, coughing and sneezing into our elbows, and wearing face coverings when we can’t maintain good physical distancing in crowded indoor spaces. We strongly encourage everyone to continue to use a face covering on public transport and flights.
Most importantly, stay at home if you are sick, and get a test for COVID-19. If you become unwell while you are away from home, call Healthline. Don’t wait until you get home to get tested. Testing will be available throughout the country over the long weekend and you can find testing locations on your local DHB website.