A New World supermarket staff member in Kaikohe, Northland has tested positive for COVID-19.
Local public health officials are encouraging anyone who has recently shopped at the supermarket to keep an eye on their health.
Northland District Health Board (DHB) has advised people who visited New World Kaikohe between March 20 and March 30 to monitor themselves for symptoms of the virus.
"This is following the contact tracing conducted on the latest confirmed case of COVID-19," a statement from the DHB said.
Foodstuffs head of corporate affairs, Antoinette Laird, confirmed to Newshub that a team member from New World Kaikohe recently tested positive for the virus.
"As soon as the store was alerted, their immediate team members were tested as a precaution and were sent home to self-isolate," Laird said in a statement.
"Team members who worked closely with the staff member will remain at home until their test results come back and confirm each individual's status is negative. We are doing everything we can to support all of our team at New World Kaikohe at this time."
Northland DHB considers the risk to the public and other workers as low, Laird confirmed.
Any staff member or recent customer who begins to feel unwell is advised to:
- contact the dedicated COVID-19 Healthline number, 0800 358 3553, for specific advice
- stay at home
- avoid visiting their healthcare provider but take advice from Healthline professionals
- visit the dedicated website, covid19.govt.nz, for additional information.
A deep clean of the department and the wider store was undertaken overnight.
"The owner of New World Kaikohe is working closely with the NDHB and is taking their guidance on what additional steps, if any, need to be taken," Laird said.
"We continue to work with all appropriate authorities to ensure this the highest standards of health and safety are maintained.
"We would like to remind customers to only visit the supermarket when absolutely necessary, it is not a social occasion and we ask the public to limit the number of visits and time they spend in store to help us minimum the risk to all."
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. Kiwis are permitted to purchase groceries and supplies from supermarkets and pharmacies throughout the lockdown but are otherwise advised to remain at home.
On Saturday night, a 38-year-old Christchurch man was arrested for deliberately coughing and sneezing on customers at Fresh Choice supermarket in Barrington. The man filmed himself sneezing on the shoppers and shared the now-deleted video to Facebook.
In late March, a woman who was denied entry to a Dunedin supermarket responded by coughing on staff and abusing them.