8 Nov 2020

Covid-19: Two Defence Force staff at centre of latest community outbreak

1:48 pm on 8 November 2020

Two Defence Force staff are at the centre of latest community outbreak of Covid-19 in New Zealand, with one travelling from Auckland to Wellington after getting infected.

COVID-19, Coronavirus, group of viruses in a worldwide pandemic concept.

Photo: 123rf.com

There was one new case of community transmission reported today - a close contact of the Auckland quarantine worker first reported by the Ministry on Friday.

There were also five new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation in New Zealand today.

It has been confirmed today that the two community cases revealed in the past few days are Defence Force staff, one civilian and one military, and that Defence House, where 1300 personnel work, has been closed for a deep clean.

Vice Chief of Defence Force Air Vice-Marshal (AVM) Tony Davies said the first positive case - announced by the Health Ministry (MoH) on Friday - is a serviceperson who has been working in the quarantine facility in Auckland.

"The second case is a civilian employee who met that serviceperson in Auckland on Wednesday, before the serviceperson tested positive. MoH's contact tracing process identified the civilian as a close contact of the serviceperson, and they subsequently tested positive.

"The civilian is based in NZDF headquarters Defence House in Wellington and travelled from Auckland to Wellington on flight NZ457 on Thursday evening. They sat in row 23, and all passengers sitting two seats in all directions are being contacted, asked to get tested and to self-isolate until 19 November. Their households have also been advised to self-isolate until the passengers receive a negative test."

AVM Davies said Defence House, where about 1300 personnel work, had been closed for a deep clean.

"All staff would be working from home until further notice. Other organisations based in Defence House were being advised and their staff would also be working from home."

In a statement, the Health Ministry said other attendees at the Auckland meeting where the two cases met have been identified are isolating.

The Ministry said anyone else who was on the flight and is concerned about their health can call Healthline.

The five cases from managed isolation include:

  • One case who arrived from Italy via Hawaii on 3 November
  • Two cases who arrived from the United Arab Emirates - but did not travel together - on 3 November
  • One case who arrived from Romania via Doha and Australia on 3 November
  • One case who arrived from Germany via the United Arab Emirates on 5 November and was taken directly to the quarantine facility after appearing symptomatic.

The total number of active cases is 48.

The total number of confirmed cases is now 1626.

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP - don't show up at a medical centre

Read more about the Covid-19 coronavirus:

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