Covid 19 coronavirus: Auckland bar patrons told to get tested after confirmed case

Patrons of an Auckland pub have been asked to self-isolate and get swabbed for Covid-19 after being exposed to someone infectious with the virus.

A person who visited The Malt pub in Greenhithe on Friday October 16, between 7.30pm and 10pm, later tested positive for the virus, the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) says.

The infected patron is one of two community cases announced by the Ministry of Health earlier today, among 25 new cases across New Zealand.

“The person who went to The Malt and who has later become sick with Covid-19 is one of the cases announced by the Ministry of Health today,” ARPHS said in a statement.

A few people deemed to be close contacts of the person were being contacted by the Ministry of Health.Staff will also be asked to get tested.

“Most people in the pub at this time are considered casual contacts, but are being asked to get tested as soon as possible. They should stay at home in self-isolation until they receive a negative test result,” ARPHS said.

“If people at the pub that night get sick however, even after a negative test result, they should self-isolate again, and get tested again.”

Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced 25 new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today, 18 of which were imported cases caught in managed isolation.

Two new community cases were announced today, linked to the port worker who tested positive over the weekend.

One of the community cases was previously considered a casual contact of the port worker and worked in the same small firm.

Bloomfield said they spent a few minutes in the same room on Friday morning. They had been tested on Sunday and returned a negative result, but had symptoms yesterday and then tested positive.

The second workplace case came back positive this morning, Bloomfield said, having previously tested negative but who was retested following the emergence of symptoms yesterday.

A pop-up Covid testing site will open in Greenhithe tomorrow for people seeking urgent tests. The location and times will be made available on the ARPHS website when these are confirmed.

Patrons and staff of the bar were told to remain vigilant for symptoms of Covid-19, such as a new or worsening cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of sense or smell, or fever.

Household members of pub patrons from that night need only get tested and stay home if the person who was at the pub becomes sick or develops any symptoms, or unless directed by Public Health, ARPHS said.

Patrons that scanned the Covid-19 Tracer App at The Malt last Friday should received a notification if they were at the bar at the same time the positive case attended.

The Malt has been closed until further notice, owner Kevin McVicar shared online.

Patrons responded on Facebook with shock.

“Some of us have elderly/compromised people in the Hithe, so hope this isn’t some stupid joke,” one person wrote.

The 18 imported cases announced today follow the 11 cases revealed yesterday among Russian and Ukrainian fishing crews, part of the 237 crew who arrived on a flight from Moscow and landed in Christchurch last week.

All were tested via nasal swab pre-departure, and Bloomfield said two people didn’t fly out because they had tested positive.

He said he would be surprised if there weren’t more cases among the crews, but they were contained in the Sudima Hotel.

“At least one person” must have been infectious on the flight, Bloomfield said, and others could have become infected on the flight of shortly thereafter.

A further five imported cases of Covid-19 were announced today, in managed isolation and unrelated to the recently-arrived fishing crew.

Three unrelated imported cases flew in from London and tested positive on routine day three testing and two cases -flying in from Jordan and Malaysia – were in managed isolation in Auckland; both tested positive on a day three test.
They will both be transferred to the Jet Park quarantine facility.

Infectious diseases expert Professor Michael Baker urged the public to remain vigilant to symptoms of the virus and seek a test if needed.

“It’s very important that anyone who thinks they’ve been in close contact, or even in casual contact, with any case rings Healthline and gets some advice and also is very cautious about any symptoms they develop,” he told Newstalk ZB.

For more information or advice on Covid-19, please call Healthline on 0800 385 54 53 or see the Auckland Regional Public Health Service website.

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