Union wants more testing for managed isolation workers

From Morning Report, 6:37 am on 3 November 2020

A new community case of Covid-19 was confirmed in Christchurch last night.

A staff member working at the managed isolation facility where the first group of international fishing crew members has tested positive for the virus.

Thirty-one of the 237 mariners staying at the Sudima at Christchurch Airport are infected with Covid-19.

The worker returned a negative test on Thursday as part of routine testing for staff at the facility but developed symptoms on Saturday and took another test on Sunday which returned a positive result yesterday.

The person is now in isolation at home and has reported to be isolating since they developed symptoms.

More details about the case will be released at the 1pm media briefing on Tuesday. The first of the international mariners were due to complete their managed isolation on Tuesday morning.

Now they will have to stay on for at least another 24 hours as an additional precautionary measure, the ministry has said.

Those precautionary measures include additional tests - up to four tests for some individuals - and an already lengthened stay in managed isolation.

Unite union says it wants an increase in quarantine times for large groups of international workers, and more testing for hotel workers.

The President of Unite, Gerard Hehir told RNZ reporter Harry Lock things should change at facility's where groups of international workers are isolating, due to the extra risk that poses.