Here's an important Covid-19 update:
Georgia Forrester and George Block
A Kmart and a vape store in Auckland are the latest locations linked to the movements of a person who has tested positive for Covid-19.
The owner of the vape store, Dark Vapes, in East Tamaki, said the closure of his shop on Wednesday for deep cleaning, followed by his mandatory self-isolation, would be tough for his small business.
Three new community cases of Covid-19 in south Auckland were announced on Tuesday.
The first was a student at Papatoetoe High School, which the Ministry of Health announced earlier in the day. Two other cases – the student’s siblings, who are a teenager and an infant – were confirmed on Tuesday evening.
Kmart in Botany, in east Auckland, and Dark Vapes are among the places of interest visited by one of the cases, with further locations expected to be released on Wednesday.
The teenager reported as a new case on Tuesday night works at Kmart Botany.
They were at work on Friday, February 19 and Saturday, February 20, between 3.30pm and 10.30pm.
The store was closed on Tuesday night, and a thorough sanitisation of the store was being carried out, a Kmart spokesperson said.
Thirty-one Kmart staff have been identified as close contacts and are self-isolating, the ministry said.
Any members of the public who visited Kmart Botany at the times the student was working is considered a casual plus contact, and must self-isolate at home immediately.
Casual plus contacts are those who would have been considered casual contacts, but have been upgraded due to the risk of the more transmissible strains of the virus.
“If you are a casual plus contact, you are advised to immediately isolate at home and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice on isolation time frames and testing requirements,” the ministry said.
One of the two high school students announced as new cases on Tuesday also twice visited Dark Vapes in East Tamaki, on Friday and Saturday.
The owner, who did not want to be named, said the store would be closed on Wednesday for deep cleaning, and he would isolate at home for 14-days, as per Ministry of Health advice.
“It's going to be tough for the business.”
He said the store would be able to reopen after cleaning as another staff member was available to help run it.
The owner did not know the identity of the case who visited.
A Ministry of Health spokeswoman said she was not sure which of the cases visited the store.
The visits to the vape store took place on Friday, February 19 between 2.30pm and 4pm, and also Saturday, February 20, between 7pm and 8.30pm.
People who visited the store during these times are considered to be casual-plus contacts.
More locations are expected to be released by the ministry on its website.
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To the side of East Auckland’s Te Ara ki Uta ki Tai cycleway, nestled in overgrown greenery, is a building that wouldn’t get a second glance if it weren’t for hot pink graffiti.
The house, owned by Auckland Council subsidiary Auckland Transport, was used as a site office by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency staff working on the $46 million cycleway between Glen Innes to Tāmaki Drive, Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan said.
But locals say the property has been all but destroyed by vandals since the cycleway was completed in 2016.
The property is one of several that have become run down and derelict under the ownership of local government.
Click 'read more' for my full report on publicly owned properties that have fallen out of use.