Coronavirus: Wellington hotel removes infected man, locks his room

Coronavirus: Wellington hotel removes infected man, locks his room

Coronavirus: Wellington hotel removes infected man, locks his room
Courtesy:Matt Burrows/News Source: newshub.co.nz

The Wellington hotel where a man who tested positive for coronavirus stayed at over the weekend has kicked him out and double-locked the room he stayed in.

The man, in his 60s, arrived in Wellington at 12:05am on Saturday from Brisbane, and was informed of his positive result later that morning - after checking into the QT Hotel and visiting a local cafe.

After QT Hotel learned of the man's diagnosis, they removed him from his room on Sunday following advice from the Ministry of Health (MoH). It is now waiting on further advice before sending staff to clean the room.

The man, who became New Zealand's seventh confirmed case of COVID-19, is deemed low-risk by the MoH due to not presenting with sneezing and coughing symptoms.

"For the virus to spread, you would need to be within very close contact of the guest (face to face) for a minimum of 15 minutes," said Simon White, general manager of hotel operations.

"We were advised by the Ministry of Health that the risk to anyone staying or working in the hotel was extremely low and there was no need to evacuate anyone from the hotel.

"However guests on the same floor were notified within a few hours and offered alternative accommodation within the hotel."

The man, who did not come into contact with QT staff, requires no further medical treatment and is now self-isolating in Wellington - but the hotel is taking no chances.

"One staff member had a brief interaction on check-in with his wife between 1am and 2am. We have been proactive and that staff member has not returned to work and will remain at home in self-isolation for the 14-day period."

Meanwhile, the man's daughter is worried for his mental health after he was slated for visiting Milk Crate cafe in Te Aro while waiting on coronavirus test results.

She said it's been a hard time for the family - and especially tough on her father, who she said "did everything right" after finding out he'd tested positive.

"As you can imagine, this has been a really hard time for our family - especially my father. I am worried for his mental health.

"I think a very interesting comment should be made about the repercussions of this naming and shaming - it was inevitable it was going to spread, and unfortunately we have been caught up in the early reported cases.

"He had no symptoms and only got checked out of protocol after returning from a funeral overseas. Never ever did we actually think this would happen.

"We have tried to do everything right from the minute we found out. My parents were just looking forward to seeing their son."