Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Home-isolation death – apartment residents concerned about exposure

Residents of the South Auckland apartment complex where a Covid-infected man died are worried about being exposed and say they were never told he was self-isolating in the building.

The Ministry of Health last night confirmed a person with Covid-19 had been found dead while isolating at an Auckland address.

The person was found deceased by a visiting family member.

The ministry said the cause of death is unknown and “may have been Covid-19 or some other cause”.

Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield labelled the person’s death as “tragic” and passed on his condolences to their family.

A resident of the Putney Way apartment complex told the Herald they had no idea there had been a Covid-positive person in the building until told by other residents about what happened.

The first she knew something was amiss was when she saw emergency services turn up between 2.30pm and 3pm yesterday.

“We saw the ambulance and police here yesterday. They were in a huge van.”

She was concerned after seeing a policeman take off his uniform off and put it in a black rubbish bag.

“We also saw a nurse with a yellow gown and face shield carrying a box of items into the building.

“They were all wearing the gowns and face masks and we knew that something wasn’t right.”

Later on, another resident went into the basement to take their rubbish out – and saw a bodybag and police officers.

That sighting soon filtered its way through the complex, alarming all the residents.

“We haven’t been told anything,” she said.

However, other residents had asked reception what happened and they confirmed the person was the same person “on the news” last night.

No one had told residents that another resident had Covid and was self-isolating and took that to mean they were trying to keep it secret.

“I think they’re trying to hide that because they never told any of the residents here that someone was isolating here, because we didn’t know.

“There’s only one elevator that we all use to get up into our rooms.”

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The residents were also keen to know if the person had been vaccinated.

“I don’t know why he wasn’t sent to an MIQ?”

They assumed that the person had been living alone but weren’t sure.

There were still no notices up in the building informing them that a person died and he had Covid.

“There was nothing. That’s what I’m concerned about.”

She said they used the lift every day, multiple times a day, as did other residents.

There had also been visitors use the lift.

“There’s only one way up and down and everyone uses it.”

Nobody knew when the man tested positive or how long he had been isolating for.

She was unaware of how many people lived there but there were 11 floors in the building.

The Ministry of Health will release some further information about the person at 1pm today.

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