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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Onewa Rd's controversial transit lane is set to get 68 cameras to better enforce the rules and combat abuse against Auckland Transport staff.
The 2.3 kilometre road has 17 transit zones – nine towards the city and eight towards Birkenhead - which can only be used by cars with three or more passengers between 6.30am and 9am, and 4pm-6pm, Monday to Friday.
The current enforcement method involves Auckland Transport staff standing on the side of the road with a camera, however a spokesman said that put them at risk of being abused by angry motorists.
The new cameras will allow for more consistent monitoring of the lanes, the spokesman added.
Each of the 17 transit zones will have one remote monitoring unit, each containing four cameras.
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