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.
Playing on the street with neighbours once proved a common sight in South Auckland.
Children would ride their bikes and compete in cricket matches.
Healthy Families South Auckland is launching a Play Streets initiative to revive this childhood tradition and encourage neighbours to socialise more.
On April 24, the pilot event will see cars banned temporarily from Cunningham Place in Takanini to pave the way for fun seeking residents.
Healthy Families South Auckland Lead Systems Innovator Fila Fuamatu said when streets were safe, neighbours and whanau could connect.
"The residents of Te Mahia are very concerned about their tamariki who spend a lot of time indoors using technology devices but not getting physically active or connecting with others in the neighbourhood."
Fuamatu said she hoped the event would empower members of the community to create opportunities for their own play and future social events.
“The residents, many of whom are elderly or have health issues, love having the opportunity to work together and give back. They’re a real creative bunch so I’m excited to see what they come up with."
Part of Waka Kotahi's Innovating Streets programme, Play Streets is managed by Auckland Council, Healthy Families South Auckland and Healthy Families Waitakere.
What are some of your early memories of street games?
I remember the old elastics game, skipping and hopscotch.
Which games would you like to see making a comeback in your streets?
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