Positive COVID-19 case – Quarantine facility staff member

Published: 13 September 2020

The Ministry of Health has confirmed a healthcare worker who is part of the team at the Auckland Jet Park Hotel quarantine facility has tested positive for COVID-19.

Statement from Air Commodore Darryn Webb, Head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine

The person was tested on Friday morning as part of routine testing for border staff, and returned a positive test yesterday. The person is employed to work solely at the Auckland quarantine facility and does not work at any other site.

Managed Isolation and Quarantine staff are supporting the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) investigation into how this person may have contracted COVID-19, which will include genome sequencing.

Following confirmation of this case, work is underway to review staffing logs, swipe card data and CCTV footage in order to map the person’s movements within the facility over recent days. 

ARPHS is conducting interviews at the facility to identify any close contacts among fellow staff members, alongside interviews with potential close contacts outside work. Any close contacts identified will be required to self-isolate and be tested.

The Auckland Jet Park Hotel quarantine facility is a tightly controlled environment and as with all managed isolation and quarantine facilities, it operates with strict infection prevention control protocols at all times.

All staff at the Jet Park quarantine facility are tested weekly for COVID-19 with all but one staff member having had this week’s routine test completed by today. As a result of this positive case, and as an added precaution, all staff are being tested again with 48 staff tested yesterday and the remainder to be tested today and tomorrow.

Hospital grade cleaning of medical and operational staff rooms has been carried out using a Bioquell machine, which sanitises with hydrogen peroxide vapour.

Our thoughts are with this staff member and their colleagues at this time, and we are actively supporting them through the investigation and follow up.

We are committed to providing our staff with the information and tools they need to do their jobs safely, and will be working alongside Health officials to make sure staff and every person currently staying at the quarantine facility are supported at this time.

All our managed isolation and quarantine staff perform a crucially important role in ensuring the safety of all New Zealanders. Thanks to their incredible work on the frontline we have seen close to 50,000 people so far safely return to New Zealand and to their families since late March.