This article by One News is republished by the Kaniva Tonga News with permission under its partnerships with TVNZ.
A hotel lift has been identified as a possible point of transmission for the Auckland managed isolation employee who has been confirmed to have Covid-19.
It was revealed on Tuesday that the man, a maintenance worker at Rydges in Auckland, was confirmed to have the virus – with genome sequencing ruling out a link to the Auckland cluster.
Health officials earlier said he hadn’t had any physical contact with potentially infected guests, though Air Commodore Darryn Webb yesterday said it could have been passed on by a nurse.
But today, Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the nurse link was “unlikely”, as all nurses had been tested and posted negative tests.
The Director-General of Health revealed there had been a “strong” new lead in identifying the mode of transmission – the hotel’s lift.
The maintenance worker had used the lift mere minutes after a person already confirmed to have the virus had been in.
“There’s been some further very good investigation work by Auckland Regional Public Health that has identified that the maintenance worker used a lift, the same lift as the case from the 31st of July.”
He said the timeframe between lift use of each person was “a matter of minutes”.
“Not at the same time but very shortly after that person and so this is now a new and strong line of investigation.”
Transmission through surfaces is possible, Dr Bloomfield said.
“We have seen before and we know that the virus can be passed on contaminated surfaces.”