Friday, 16 Apr 2021

Covid-19 coronavirus: One new case in managed isolation

There is one new case of Covid-19 in managed isolation – but none in the community as health officials continue to wrestle with containing the Valentine’s Day cluster.

The focus remains on KFC Botany -a family member of one of the Papatoetoe High School students who tested positive had been told to stay home and isolate, but instead went to work at the fast food restaurant on Monday.

The Ministry of Health said today there were three categories of contacts related to KFC. Eleven people in the first category are close contacts plus who also worked there and are in 14 day isolation.

Members of the public who enterted the store at the time are close contacts who must get tested today, and casual plus contacts who went the drive-thru should also get tested today. Both groups should isolate until receiving a negative result.

Yesterday Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was, “like everyone, frustrated” about the person who went to work at KFC.

“We want people to do the right thing because that’s what keeps everyone safe.”

Despite this, she is warning against a “mass pile [on]” of the person in question, as that might create an environment where people are too afraid to get tested.

She is asking for everyone who may have come into contact with the new case to “do the right thing” and isolate.

And if they don’t, she is sounding a warning: “There is a section 70 order”.

That order means a medical officer of health can oblige people to isolate.

“We have some legal footing for that … and so there are repercussions,” Ardern said.

The latest community case announced yesterday went to work at the Botany Downs KFC between 3.30pm on Monday, February 22 and 12.30am on Tuesday, February 23.

That person is part of the now 12-strong Valentine’s Day cluster.

They are a household contact of Case I, the Papatoetoe High School student who tested positive for the virus earlier this week, Case J, who had been at work at Kmart in Botany, and Case K, an infant sibling.

Today, 1515 school students and staff have returned at least one negative test result since 15 February.

“We continue to work closely with the school to ensure all staff and students are tested,” the Ministry said. “Papatoetoe High School is expected to open on Monday.”

At Kmart Botany, 32 staff members have returned negative tests with a handful of others still to be tested.

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