SkyCity Auckland identified as key COVID-19 exposure site

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More than 1,200 New Zealanders have been forced to self-isolate after a positive COVID-19 case was found to have visited SkyCity Auckland last weekend.

New Zealand is currently fighting a new outbreak of the virus, believed to be linked to the much larger outbreak in Sydney, Australia, with the 11 new cases reported on Thursday taking the total to 21.

According to local media reports, SkyCity Entertainment Group has now identified around 1,000 guests and 240 staff who were on the casino floor of SkyCity Auckland at the same time as the confirmed case last Saturday. All must now isolate and get a COVID-19 test.

Public Health Authorities have advised that all customers who were on the main gaming floor at the same time are deemed close contacts and are advised to stay at home, watch for symptoms and get tested, said SkyCity CEO Michael Ahearne.

SkyCity Auckland, currently closed under New Zealands lockdown measures, is undergoing deep cleaning of its casino plus all back of house areas, public lifts and handrails.

The company announced earlier this week that it was suspending casino and entertainment facilities at its Auckland, Hamilton and Queenstown properties, with Auckland expected to remain closed for at least seven days and other areas for three.