Second Christchurch isolation worker tests positive for Covid-19 – Ministry

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A second staff member at Christchurch’s Sudima managed isolation facility, a close co-worker of the case announced yesterday, has tested positive with Covid-19, the Ministry of Health says.

The Sudima Hotel in Christchurch which is being used as an isolation facility.

The Sudima Hotel in Christchurch which is being used as an isolation facility. Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

The ministry said because the person worked at the facility they were being treated as a case of community transmission.

Both this case, and the one reported last night, came into contact with the international fishing crew in the course of their duties, including some of the 31 crew who have tested positive for Covid-19 and who remain in quarantine.

The person was tested as part of the routine testing for staff in the facility and returned a negative test on 29 October.

The ministry said they were asymptomatic and retested after being identified as being a close work contact of the case reported on Monday and a positive result was received today.

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They were in isolation at home and transfer is being arranged to a managed isolation facility, a Health Ministry spokesperson said.

At this stage, the ministry believed today’s case had only two close contacts, both household contacts who were being tested and were isolating at home.

The ministry said today’s and yesterday’s cases had limited numbers of contacts and the incident was well contained.

The first of the international fishing crew, who were due to complete their managed isolation this morning, have had their managed isolation extended for at least a further 48 hours as an additional precautionary measure while further information from the staff testing was gathered after yesterday’s case was confirmed.

The crews have had up to four tests for some individuals and an already lengthened stay in managed isolation.

The genome sequencing of the case announced on Monday is not expected to be completed until this evening and will be reported, along with any further information available, at the daily 1pm briefing tomorrow, the Ministry said.

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