NZ postal staff stand down after co-workers’ positive tests – 6 new cases

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More than 300 people at NZ Post's Auckland operations centre have been tested since two people returned positive tests last week. Image: Richard Tindiller/RNZ

By RNZ News

NZ Post has stood down staff who worked the day shift at an Auckland parcel processing centre after two positive tests linked to the facility.

In a statement, NZ Post chief operating officer Mark Stewart said staff at the processing centre in Highbrook would be stood down on full pay.

New Zealand’s Health Ministry reported 6 new covid-19 community cases today, four linked to the Auckland cluster.

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“Following advice from health officials late last night our 70 people on the processing day shift are now in self-isolation until Saturday, August 29,” he said.

“This is for the remainder of the two-week incubation period from when the last infectious staff member was on site, which was Friday, August 14.”

More than 300 people from NZ Post’s Auckland operations centre have been tested since two positive tests were returned from people on its day shift last week.

There have been no further positive results, although Stewart said two people were unwell.

Planned for different scenarios
“We’ve been planning for different scenarios in general, let alone since we had the two positive cases, so we have been able to move quickly into action.

He said the first consideration was the wellbeing of staff and others who could be affected.

“This is an unsettling time for our people and their families. We are supporting those who are directly affected, respecting their personal situation and supporting other teams at NZ Post who are concerned about their colleagues and for each other,” he said.

“NZ Post has strict safety measures in place under alert level 3 and 2. This includes two-metre physical distancing, mask wearing and hygiene measures at the Auckland Operations Centre and we are very vigilant about following them.

“This will of course continue to be a priority for us.”

A second deep clean of the facility is taking place today.

Stewart said there could be a delay of up to two days for parcels but mail was “not affected by these delays at this stage”.

Six new community cases
The Health Ministry reported six new cases of covid-19 in the community today, reports RNZ.

There are nine people with covid-19 in hospital, including three in intensive care. There are two cases in Auckland City Hospital, four people in Middlemore – which includes the three in ICU – two people in North Shore Hospital and one person in Waikato Hospital.

There was no media conference today.

This article is republished by the Pacific Media Centre under a partnership agreement with RNZ.

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