Small number of locations of interest expected from Covid-positive truckie

Source: 1 NEWS

The Ministry of Health says there are a small number of exposure events after an Auckland  truck driver tested positive for Covid-19  after completing deliveries in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. 

Truck

The driver was among 13 new community cases announced on Thursday.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said earlier on Thursday the driver had been tested after isolating as a household contact of another case.

"This case emphasises the importance of testing those who cross over the Auckland boundary."

The driver had travelled to Hamilton, Cambridge and Tauranga, he said. 

"We anticipate the first of a handful of Auckland locations, expected to be supermarkets and dairies, to be published this evening," the ministry said.

"Where we can readily identify contacts, these exposure events will not be listed."

Four household contacts of the driver are isolating and are being tested.

The driver has been linked to the existing outbreak.

Foodstuff's Antoinette Laird said the driver worked for one of its partners and had picked up loads from its Landing Drive Distribution Centre, delivering them to a number of stores in the region as well as the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

Twenty-seven of its staff at the centre have been stood down on full pay to isolate. 

"Truck drivers who come to Foodstuffs sites and stores are ... physically distanced from team members who are loading, or unloading at a site or store.

"At no time do truck drivers enter the shop floor of stores or sites as a part of their delivery or pick up routine," Laird said.

As of 6pm, nine entries have been added to the locations of interest list on Thursday. 

The full list of locations of interest is available here.

Seven are fresh locations and include supermarkets, a dairy and a petrol station. 

New dates and times were added for two earlier locations — Mayfield Superette in Ōtara and Mascot Dairy in Māngere. 

It is not clear at this stage if the seven fresh locations added at 6pm are linked to the truck driver or not. 

The ministry also released more information about a Middlemore Hospital patient who was included in Thursday's numbers.

They are in isolation at home waiting to be transferred to MIQ. 

All of their household members are isolating as well, but no other cases in the house have been identified at this stage. 

The ministry continues to look for links to other cases.

The other five previous cases identified through exposure events at Middlemore have all been linked to the outbreak on further investigation.

"More information on both these cases will be available tomorrow."