Three Port Taranaki workers who may have come in contact with a man confirmed to have Covid-19 have been tested and are isolating at home.
They were identified through contact tracking that they had potential contact with the man and were isolated as a precaution while awaiting their test results, Port Taranaki chief executive Guy Roper said in an email statement Monday.
The visiting contractor, an Auckland-based marine electronics technician in his 20s, tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday after traveling to New Plymouth to work at the port on Tuesday and Wednesday (October 13-14). .
The Ministry of Health (MoH) said the man was potentially infectious on Wednesday and Thursday. The case was announced on Sunday.
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* Positive Covid-19 case worked in Port Taranaki and stayed in New Plymouth
Roper said the man had very limited contact with staff while working on a ship in Port Taranaki.
The visiting contractor is very responsive, took all health and safety precautions, including limiting contact with others, and has been very helpful in identifying the few people with whom he may have been in contact, Roper said.
They are pleased that the only staff members who potentially had contact with the case while he was at the port have now been tested.
However, Roper encouraged any port staff or users who would like to be tested for coronavirus to attend the pop-up clinic at the port on Monday.
Roper said there was a warning situation among Port Taranaki staff since the announcement, but they were continuing with the business while following health and hygiene guidelines.
Throughout the pandemic, Port Taranaki staff had followed MoH instructions, Roper said.
Our staff has and continues to maintain high standards of hygiene and wear PPE where and when appropriate.
As an additional precaution, we have also asked staff to limit on-site meetings and reduce face-to-face contact with other port users.
The visiting contractor stayed at the Devon Hotel in New Plymouth on Tuesday evening and returned early Monday morning.
Manager Peter Tennent said the man did not come into close contact with other guests and did not use the hotel facilities.
The room where he stayed has since undergone a thorough cleaning, Tennent said.
The man registered at Quest New Plymouth on Wednesday but did not stay.
Instead, he drove back to Auckland and is now in solitary confinement at the Auckland quarantine facility.
Quest New Plymouth owner Ross McCabe said the room reserved for the husband has been thoroughly cleaned.
The man was alone in the hotel for a short period, he said.
The room was not used. The bed did not sleep.
An emergency management meeting was being held in Taranaki on Monday following news of the case.
The main focus of the Incident Management Teams meeting will be about testing close contacts and border guards, said Beth Findlay-Heath, of Taranaki County Health Board.
We were making progress with all the testing that is our big mandate, Findlay-Heath said.
Our priority test groups are those close and casual contacts, all border guards and then anyone else in the community who has symptoms.
Somewhere between 50 and 100 tests were conducted in Taranaki on Sunday, on a host of people, which was a big step in recent weeks, she said.
Community-based testing centers continue to operate throughout the region and are located in New Plymouth, Hwera, Waitara and Opunake.
Now is the time to test. Do not leave chance to chance.
The confirmed case was in a high-risk category “for contracting the virus as he works on boats for several hours a day and travels around the country.”
How the worker got Covid-19 is still being decided, with genomic testing to be performed next week.
It is very unlikely that the vessel he worked on Wednesday in New Plymouth would be the source of the infection because it would be a very, very short incubation period, Bloomfield said.
The ship was met by health officials in Napier on Sunday.
It would be anchored and would not come to Port Napier.
However, a port spokeswoman said she would help the Hawkes Bay County Health Board get the medical staff on board.
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