COVID-19: Sixteen close contacts, locations of interest revealed after Auckland Airport staffer tests positive

Three locations of interest and 16 close contacts have been revealed after an Auckland Airport worker tested positive for COVID-19.

The latest case was reported on Tuesday. They're a cleaner who works on planes from high-risk countries and was fully vaccinated, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

People who visited the below locations are being asked by the Ministry of Health to monitor symptoms for 14 days and get tested for COVID-19 if you become unwell.

  • Westfield St Luke's Food Court, Saturday, April 17 - 12:15pm to 2:30pm
  • Bunnings New Lynn, Saturday, April 17 - 2:30pm to 3:50pm
  • Movenpick Dominion Rd, Saturday April 17 - 5:15pm to 7:20pm

A ministry spokeswoman said on Tuesday evening the latest case shows a clear link to the border and the risk to the public appears low.

"The person has been tested weekly for COVID-19 as part of routine surveillance testing. They were tested yesterday at their workplace as part of this, and that test came back as positive today.

"They received two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine early in the vaccination campaign - in February and March. We know the Pfizer vaccine is highly effective, but at 95 percent effectiveness a small number may not be protected.

"Breakthrough infections happen with all vaccines. This shows us how important it is that as many New Zealanders as possible take up the offer to receive the vaccine when they are offered it and are protected."

Five household contacts of the latest case have been tested, all of which were negative, the ministry said. Close contacts from their workplace are also being isolated and tested.

"The person is currently isolating at home while they are being interviewed by health officials and following this they will be transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility."

The Jet Park Hotel - Auckland's quarantine facility.
The Jet Park Hotel - Auckland's quarantine facility. Photo credit: Google

"So far, we have identified that the person has 16 close contacts. This number will likely change as further scoping of this person's movements identifies other people they have been in close contact with," the spokesperson added.

"Their work at Auckland Airport is their sole employment and their role is non-public facing. Additional pop up testing has been set up at Auckland Airport this afternoon - this is in addition to the testing site that is already running at the airport."

The ministry will provide further details once whole-genome sequencing has been completed.

COVID-19: Sixteen close contacts, locations of interest revealed after Auckland Airport staffer tests positive
Photo credit: Getty

"A final note of thanks to this person - they, like many others at our border, have worked in an environment during this pandemic that has exposed them to the virus that we have collectively worked so hard to keep out.

"This person has done the right things - they have been regularly tested at their workplace, and we know they have been using the NZ COVID Tracer app.

"People working at our border deserve our thanks and appreciation, and our thoughts are with this person as they recover from their infection."