19 Aug 2020

Rydges isolation Covid-19 transmission mystery continues

From Checkpoint, 5:07 pm on 19 August 2020

It's a mystery baffling our health experts: How did a Rydges hotel maintenance man contract a strain of Covid-19 from a hotel guest he apparently never came into contact with?

Yesterday the Ministry of Health confirmed the worker tested positive on August 16, but the strain of virus he had is not the same as the one linked to the Auckland community outbreak.

Instead it is the same as a returnee from the United States, who arrived alone, and left the facility in late July.

Dr Ashley Bloomfield says health authorities still do not know how the virus was transmitted because the man and the returnee never actually came into physical contact, although virus experts say human-to-human transmission is the most likely explanation.

Checkpoint reporter Logan Church has been trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Air Commodore Darryn Webb says the guest at Rydges who had Covid-19 may have passed it on to a nurse who then passed it on to a maintenance man at the facility.