Countdown Helensville, The Warehouse in Whangarei among 28 spots visited by Covid-19 case

Source: 1News

The Ministry of Health has released an extensive list containing 28 locations, including supermarkets and eateries, across the southern part of the Northern region that were visited by the newly-announced Covid-19 case. 

The 56-year-old woman completed a 14-day stay in managed isolation at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland on January 13, after travelling back to New Zealand from Europe.

Health officials announced the case this afternoon, after the woman had reported experiencing Covid-19 symptoms following her stay. She had been an avid user of the Covid Tracer App. 

Prior to the virus' detection, officials say the woman travelled across the southern part of Northland with her husband, visiting an array of cafes, restaurants, and retail stores in locations including Whangarei, Ruakaka, and Helensville.

The Ministry of Health this evening released the list, detailing her movements from January 14, up until January 22.

The latest list of locations includes FreshChoice Ruakaka which she went into on two occasions, the first visit was 14 January from 3:03pm until 4:33pm and the second was 16 January from 11:10am until 12:15pm. 

She also visited Countdown Helensville on the afternoon of 19 January from 1:46 pm until 3:01 pm.

Other spots include Noel Leeming Whangarei on 15 January from 9:02am until 10:12am, Urban Remedy Cafe on 17 January from 8:17am until 9:47am and The Dune Restaurant & Bar in Mangawhai on 18 January from 4:47pm until 7:17pm.

The first location named prior to the rest of the list was Bendon Whangarei, which she visited on 15 January from 9:03am until 10:30am.

The full list is available here.

In a statement, Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s general manager safety, said it was "disappointing to hear" of the visits, but the stores had acted on the information immediately.

“This is obviously disappointing news for our Countdown Helensville and FreshChoice Ruakaka store teams, but we wholeheartedly thank the customer for using the app to scan in so that we could quickly alert our stores," said Hannifin. 

"We’ve acted on the information immediately and any team members who were working during the times confirmed by the Ministry are being asked not to come to work again, to stay home, self-isolate and get tested."

Director General-Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield during an earlier media conference said the woman was called by health officials on January 16 to check in following her isolation stay, but she had not reported any symptoms.

However, her recollection after discussing her symptoms with the medical officer of health today, revealed she developed “muscle aches” on January 15 which had “got progressively worse”.

Anyone who was at the same locations on the same day have been asked to self-isolate, ring Healthline and get a Covid-19 test.

Bloomfield earlier said there were four close contacts of the woman who would be tested for Covid-19.

Anyone else who has been in contact with the woman, or visited the same locations, is regarded as a “casual plus” contact, meaning they will need to isolate and be tested.

According to the Ministry of Health, the woman had travelled in Spain and the Netherlands late last year for work.

"While in the Netherlands she was in contact with family members, who subsequently tested positive for Covid-19.

"The person left the United Kingdom en route to New Zealand, travelling via Singapore, arriving in Auckland on 30 December," MoH says.

Covid-Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the origin and variant of infection was still unknown, and that it was important not to speculate on what the strain might be until information would be available.

“It’s also too early to speculate on what our possible response options may be, including things like alert levels.

“Of course when we do, of course, we will keep people informed,"said Hipkins.

He said steps to undertake genome sequencing and a second PCR test were already underway, which could take around 24 hours for both results to come through.

Hipkins reinforced key public health messages for people to self-isolate if they are feeling unwell and to get a Covid-19 test.

“Don’t go to work if you are feeling unwell. Please do use the Covid Tracer app to scan everywhere that you go.

“Turn on Bluetooth and wash your hands,” said Hipkins.