Covid 19 coronavirus: New community case in West Auckland, Māori health policy unit affected

A person who works at Auckland’s Māori public health unit, Hapai Te Hauora, has tested positive for Covid-19.

A letter sent yesterday from the Auckland Regional Public Health Service to those working in the Whānau Centre building, where the infected person works, says a person at Hapai is now a confirmed case.

The regional public health service had worked with the infected person and fellow colleagues at the Henderson-based health unit to identify close contacts.

Everyone considered a close contact has been contacted by health authorities and been told to isolate for 14 days.

Those who work in the same high-rise building on Pioneer St are also being told while there is a confirmed case, they are unlikely to fall ill if they are not a close contact.

The letter to office workers across the site warns that as there are current cases in the community, it remains important to be vigilant for signs of the virus.

The building contains a number of vital community health services including a dentist, a pharmacy, Covid-testing site, addiction support and cancer care service.

Hāpai have held the regional Māori public health contract for Tāmaki Makaurau for 20 years. It provides a strategic focus for communities to enjoy good health and to be sustained by healthy environments.

It comes as a West Auckland college is closed and parents with children at nearby schools are being asked to keep their children home if there are siblings who attend St Dominic’s Catholic College after a senior student tested positive.

Another pupil at nearby Henderson North School is in self-isolation and has been tested, but remains well and was very unlikely to have been infectious when last at school.

The cases are linked to the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship church sub-cluster that has swollen to 37 positive cases this week.

Today, Health Minister Chris Hipkins revealed some close contacts of the Mt Roskill church sub-cluster were not previously disclosed, including the student that recently tested positive.

It appeared in this case she was a close contact of the sub-cluster that had not been previously disclosed.

The authorities were now looking into whether that was on purpose.

“That’s one of the things that the investigation is looking at now and it will include looking at whether there was a deliberate decision not to disclose, or whether it was simply an oversight,” Hipkins said.

The Auckland Public Regional Health Service has been approached for comment.

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