Two police staff are in self-isolation after coming into contact with a man in Hawke’s Bay, who has Covid-19.
The pair returned negative day one tests, a police spokeswoman said in a statement on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and police are working together to look into the circumstances in which the man left Auckland and travelled to Hawke’s Bay.
Health authorities announced the positive case on Saturday, and the man is now isolating in Kennedy Park Resort in Napier.
In a statement on its Facebook page on Sunday morning, Hawke’s Bay District Health Board said the man was a permitted traveller from Auckland.
Later, a Ministry of Health spokesman said health agencies were “working with police on the circumstances around the person’s departure from Auckland”, and that the person had been relocating from Auckland.
A police spokeswoman confirmed police were working with health authorities, but refused to provide any further information at this stage.
The man took a test prior to leaving Auckland, but left before the test result had come back, a Ministry of Health spokesperson said.
It’s understood the person had been in Hawke’s Bay since at least Wednesday, and the district health board wasn’t given prior notice the person was travelling there.
The district health board didn’t say in its statement when the person arrived, or when they tested positive.
Initial test results of identified close contacts of the man came back negative on Sunday.
The Ministry of Health said any locations of interest would be added to their website when confirmed by public health officials.
To date, any exposures identified have been assessed as limited and any contacts were contacted directly.
The ministry is now urging anyone in Hawke’s Bay with Covid-19 symptoms – no matter how mild – to get tested, even if they are vaccinated.
Meanwhile, a guest at Kennedy Park Resort, where the man is now isolating, is concerned about how long it took to inform other guests a person with Covid-19 was staying on-site.
The woman, who declined to be named, said a person from reception knocked on her door and gave her a letter about 4.30pm on Sunday. She understood the man had arrived the night before.
“It was just an envelope, and she said, ‘this is just a bit of information about Covid’,” the guest said.
The letter said due to an evolving situation of Covid-19 in the community, the facility was supporting the care of a recent positive Covid-19 case.
Napier City Council chief executive Dr Steph Rotarangi said the facility was an emergency accommodation provider and, as an “essential provider”, offered accommodation services for essential workers and self-isolating guests if required.
“The isolating person is in a freestanding unit which allows for a partitioned off area away from other guests. They aren’t allowed to leave their room or the dedicated outside space. They aren’t allowed to utilise any other facilities on the grounds,” Rotarangi said.
The accommodation is classed as a supported self-isolating facility.
“This means that after a medical officer has assessed the patient, and they have no appropriate means to self-isolate they will be transferred to Kennedy Park Resort.
“The HBDHB is the lead agency on the Covid-19 response and in managing the transfer and care of our isolating guest. For confidentiality reasons, we were not at liberty to advise guests of the situation before we were authorised to do so. For further information on the timing of this decision we suggest contacting the DHB directly,” Rotarangi said.
The district health board has been approached for comment.
Other guests were also “really angry” about the situation, the guest said. She questioned the timing of the letter and felt frustrated she and her children had missed the opportunity to leave earlier.
“We can’t just up and leave, it’s a five-hour drive home, at this time of night, but why weren’t informed yesterday afternoon? And then we could have left today,” she said.
She also questioned why guests weren’t informed prior to booking that the accommodation could be used for managed isolation for people with Covid-19.
Rotarangi said the accommodation’s terms and conditions recognised that in the case of an emergency, bookings may need to be cancelled in order to accommodate those affected.
“Circumstances have evolved quickly and in the future Kennedy Park’s status as a supported self-isolation facility will be clearly reflected in the terms and conditions,” she said.
Tukituki MP Anna Lorck said on Saturday it was extremely concerning if the ministry had not informed the district health board about the person being in the region since Wednesday.
“People of Hawke’s Bay deserve to know, as does our DHB [district health board].
“Our two cities are close and thousands of people travel to work between Hastings and Napier every day.”
- Covid-19 testing and vaccination site locations are available on Hawke’s Bay DHB’s website.