Covid 19 coronavirus: Case M – City Fitness gym among locations of interest

City Fitness members were told in an email last night that its gym in Papatoetoe, South Auckland would be re-opened at 8am today after a deep clean because a Covid-positive case had been at the premises on two occasions.

But it was not to be.

Just half an hour later, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Auckland would be going back into alert level 3 lockdown from 6am today.

The City Fitness gym in Hunters Plaza was the latest addition to list of locations of interest released by the Ministry of Health.

City Fitness said the person who tested positive, known as Case M, had visited its Papatoetoe gym on Saturday, February 20 between 12.20pm and 1.45pm, and Friday, February 26 between 3.20pm and 4.40pm.

“We have been advised the Auckland Regional Health Board will contact directly anyone who was in the gym during that time and designated as a ‘close’ or ‘casual plus’ contact,” it said.

They should get a Covid test and stay at home until a negative test result is received, and monitor for symptoms for the next 14 days.

Case M is an older sibling of a Papatoetoe High School student, and their mother has also tested positive for Covid-19, the Ministry of Health confirmed last night.

The person has the UK variant of the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins told TVNZ today.

Case M attends the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) and was a causal contractor at Kerry Logistics (Oceania) Limited who worked at the premises for about four hours on the morning of Tuesday, February 23.

He went to MIT for three days and to the gym twice – including once after taking a Covid test – when he should have been isolating at home.

Hipkins said today the genomic sequencing suggested a link with the South Auckland cluster. Officials did not yet know how he caught the virus.

Officials also did not know if other people had been infected. Hipkins is calling on anyone who has Covid symptoms to “go get a test now”.

Rob Gilhooly, managing director of Kerry Logistics, said the company was “currently taking all precautionary measures including deep cleaning of the premises and testing of all employees”.

The case developed symptoms on Tuesday, February 23 but is regarded as being potentially infectious from Sunday, February 21.

Affected MIT students have been emailed.

The case had returned from overseas in December 2020 and completed 14 days in managed isolation with three negative tests.

Their sibling, a high school student, had returned three recent negative tests and was asymptomatic, the ministry said.

Health officials are undertaking interviews to establish how the new case was infected.

The household had five people and testing was undertaken last night and all were isolating, the ministry said.

Locations of interest

The locations of interest are available on the Ministry of Health’s website and are being updated progressively.

People who were at these locations of interest should isolate for 14 days and if symptoms develop, get tested.

Places that have been added on February 27:

City Fitness in Hunters Plaza: February 20, 12.20pm – 1.45pm, February 26, 3.20pm-4.40pm,
Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT), Manukau Campus February 22, 24, 25.
Hunter’s Plaza: February 26, 2.55pm-5pm.
Burger King Highland Park:February 25, 8pm-9pm.
Your Health Pharmacy: February 23, 2.45pm-3.50pm.
Pak’nSave Manakau: February 21, 5.30pm-6.40pm.

Other locations that had been earlier identified include KFC Botany Downs (February 22-23), Li’l Abners Takeaway (February 19) and Choice Food Bar (February 19).

Additional community testing centres are available in Auckland this weekend, with extended hours. These are in Ōtara, Botany, Pakuranga Heights, Balmoral, Henderson and Northcote.

In East Auckland, a CTC at Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga Heights, will be open from 8am-4pm today.

The Botany CTC at Golflands will be open from 9am-5pm.

The ministry is urging people to only call Healthline if they were potentially exposed.

If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP – don’t show up at a medical centre.

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