47 days ago

Covid-19 Update: Covid-19: Kmart and vape store among new locations of interest linked to new case

Caryn Wilkinson Reporter from Community News

Hi Neighbours,

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.

Kmart Botany

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.

Dark Vapes

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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1 day ago

Poll: Are you in favour of the temporary ban on flights from India to New Zealand?

Caryn Wilkinson Reporter from Community News

Flights from India to New Zealand will be suspended for two weeks in a bid to curb the rising number of travellers testing positive on arrival.

Stuff reported the restrictions ahead of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's announcement that officials had recommended the drastic and unprecedented move in light of a massive wave of cases in India.

At a press conference in Auckland on Thursday afternoon, Ardern announced that no-one who had recently been in India would be allowed into the country until April 28.

The ban covers all travellers, including New Zealand citizens and permanent residents.

This suspension will take place from 4pm on April 11 and will be in place until April 28.

India is currently battling a massive resurgence of the virus, with about 116,000 new cases announced on April 6 alone.

Auckland barrister Grant Illingworth,​ QC, said that under civil aviation law the Government could deny entry to aircraft and vessels from other countries.

New Zealand citizens have the right to enter the country and that right could not be taken away except by authority from Parliament, Illingworth said.

“But just because a New Zealand citizen is on a plane doesn’t mean that the whole plane will be allowed to come to New Zealand, and the Government almost certainly does have the authority to shut down flights from particular countries.”

Are you in favour of the temporary ban on flights from India to New Zealand?
  • 93% Yes
    93% Complete
  • 4.5% No
    4.5% Complete
  • 1.8% Undecided- it's too complex
    1.8% Complete
  • 0.8% Neutral
    0.8% Complete
1581 votes