Coronavirus: Flaxmere New World staff member tests positive

New World Flaxmere.
New World Flaxmere. Photo credit: Google

A staff member at a New World supermarket in Flaxmere, Hastings has tested positive for COVID-19.

Local health officials say they've contacted the close contacts who are now in isolation.

The Hawke's Bay District Health Board (HBDHB) says the risk to other workers or shoppers is low but shouldn't be ruled out.

DHB medical officer of health Dr Nick Jones confirmed the staff member was potentially infectious while working between 3:30pm and 8:30pm on April 3 and 6:30am and 3pm on Saturday.

"The hygiene rules in place at the supermarket will help lower the risk further, but we ask anyone who has developed illness, even very mild illness such as a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose or loss of smell and taste, to contact Healthline 0800 358 5453 or call their GP," Dr Jones said in a statement.

A deep clean of the supermarket was undertaken overnight.

"Now is not the time for blaming anyone - symptoms of this disease can be mild and go unrecognised for some time before they become more severe," Dr Jones said.

"The job of our communities is to stay home but make sure that anyone who is unwell calls their GP or Healthline so they can be assessed and tested."

Supermarkets are considered essential businesses during New Zealand's nationwide alert level 4 lockdown in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. All schools and non-essential businesses have been closed in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.