Horizons Regional Council staff in isolation due to a positive COVID-19 case

A Palmerston North staff member at Horizons Regional Council has tested positive for COVID-19. This is the same case that was confirmed by the MidCentral District Health Board last night. 

Horizons chief executive Michael McCartney says that the case, who is based in the regional council’s Palmerston North Queen Street office, is isolating at home and public health investigations are ongoing. The Queen Street office has never been open to the public. 
“A number of Horizons Regional Council staff are now isolating as close contacts, and we are working closely with the public health unit to identify any locations of interest,” says Mr McCartney. 
“Any close contacts from outside Horizons Regional Council will be contacted by the public health unit.
“In addition to Horizons’ close contacts that are isolating, we have taken further precautionary steps by postponing any external meetings within the wider district, compulsory mask wearing in all of our offices, and assessing our other premises for casual contacts.
“At this stage we are treating our Regional House and Te Ao Nui ground floor staff in Palmerston North as casual contacts, as well as staff in our Kairanga office.
“We will continue to following the Ministry of Health guidelines and are working closely with MidCentral District Health Board to help understand the extent of the situation.
“Earlier this month, Horizons had put in place its COVID-19 policy. Staff who are currently working from all of our office sites and in customer facing roles are fully vaccinated. 
“While we have been planning for a high possibility of some staff becoming positive cases as COVID makes its way to communities, it has arrived at our doors sooner than expected. We will continue to follow the Ministry of Health guidelines and our plan, ensuring we are do everything we can to keep our staff, customers and community as safe as possible.
“This includes ensuring we have the ability to respond to an emergency management event, such as a flood, should the need arise.
“We would like to commend the positive case staff member for seeking a COVID-19 test when they needed to, and encourage everyone to follow the Ministry of Health advice around mask wearing, physical distancing and getting tested if you have any symptoms of COVID-19.
“We would also like to acknowledge that it is our regulatory team that has been affected the most. We are wrapping around our support to this team. We acknowledge that there is potential for further disruption to our business as the situation evolves.
“We ask for patience as our regulatory functions move to a working from home (where possible) scenario, and recommend all customers phone us on 0508 800 800 or email help@horizons.govt.nz rather than coming into Regional House if possible.” 

Find more information about Horizon's services at Red level on our COVID-19 page