Covid 19 coronavirus: Christchurch supermarket closed for deep cleaning after new case visited store

A Christchurch supermarket has been closed for deep cleaning after person who went on to test positive for Covid-19 visited the store.

The person, a staff member working in the Christchurch managed isolation facility, visited the Colombo Street supermarket on Sunday.

They had developed symptoms for Covid-19 on Saturday and sought a further test on Sunday.

Countdown’s general manager corporate affairs, safety and sustainability Kiri Hannifin confirmed the person visited the store, but the time of the visit was not known.

The supermarket was closed tonight and was undergoing a deep clean.

Hannifin said it’s expected the supermarket will be open again as normal tomorrow.

Tonight’s case in Christchurch ended 10 straight days of no community cases of the virus in New Zealand.

The new case is a staff member working in the Christchurch managed isolation facility, understood to be the Sudima Hotel, where a group of international mariners have been staying. A total of 31 positive Covid cases are now linked to a group.

They are among 440 fishers from Russia and the Ukraine, 270 of whom are due to go out on three Independent Fisheries boats next month.

The new case was tested as part of routine testing for staff at the Sudima at Christchurch Airport. They returned a negative test on Thursday, October 29.

On Saturday however, they developed symptoms and sought a further test on Sunday, returning a positive result which was received today.

“The person is now in isolation at home and reports taking care to isolate themselves as soon as they developed symptoms,” the Ministry of Health says.

The first of the international mariners were due to have completed their managed isolation tomorrow morning but will have it extended for at least 24 hours as an additional precautionary measure.

The ministry said full details of the case, and the actions taken in response would be provided in a 1pm press conference tomorrow.

Precautionary measures for the international mariners include additional tests – up to four for some individuals and an already lengthened stay in managed isolation.

This is the third time Covid-19 has re-emerged in the community.

New Zealand went 102 days without a case until August when an Auckland cluster forced the city into a two-week level-3 lockdown.

Then in October, after 22 days without a new case in the community, a marine engineer tested positive after carrying out work on a ship in Auckland, the Sofrana Surville.

Four cases of Covid-19 were reported in managed isolation this afternoon. One of those an international mariner staying at the Sudima in Christchurch, detected at day 15 testing as a close contact of a day 6 case.

The other three people were a person at an Auckland quarantine facility, who arrived on October 19 from Milan via Singapore and tested positive to routine testing at around day 12.

Another person arrived from London via Singapore on October 28 and tested positive to routine testing at around day 3. They are now in the Auckland quarantine facility.

And the forth case was detected in managed isolation in Auckland, after being given permission to join a family member recently arrived from overseas. The family member has previously been recorded in our positive case totals. Today’s case will be recorded as an import-related case.

The Ministry of Health is expected to release more details at its usual 1pm news conference tomorrow.

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