Is your business a location of interest?
If you have had an employee with COVID-19 come to work at your business premises during their infectious period, then anyone who was there during the same timeframe may be considered a contact – if they were in the same space as the person with COVID-19. This includes staff, contractors, visitors and customers.
If you had unknown visitors or customers on-site during this period, then your business or site may also be listed as a COVID-19 location of interest to alert any customers or members of the public who may have been on your site.
When Public Health calls or email you, they will usually tell you:
- the name of the employee,
- what the infectious period is for your employee (i.e., what dates they were at work while they
- were infectious)
- they will also provide you with guide to help you through this process, this includes templates and frequently asked questions
The process – at a glance
Public Health will undertake the following:
- Investigate the case
- Confirm positive case was infectious whilst at work
- Notify the business their employee is a case
- Provide the infectious period and self-isolation end date
Your role and responsibility if your business is a location of interest:
- Ask if staff member is positive case
- Notify other employees (maintain strict confidentiality around identifying details of the case)
- Complete assessment of contacts
- Provide list of contacts to public health
- Send communications to Close Contacts, Casual Contacts and/or customers, where appropriate
Do you need to close your business?
Businesses do not necessarily have to close if a worker has tested positive to COVID-19. The decision to close a business depends on:
- Ongoing transmission. Evidence of ongoing spread of infection (transmission) from person to person in the workplace might mean your business has to close temporarily to stop transmission between your workers. If you have more than one employee who tests positive for COVID-19, contact your closest Public Health Unit for further advice.
- Cleaning requirements. Premises should be cleaned following attendance of a confirmed case. This can be done overnight so as not to disrupt normal business hours. If premises are told during business hours, they may need to close to undertake cleaning.
- Whether your business can still operate effectively and safely if staff are required to isolate as cases or close contacts.
- The Ministry of Health will advise you if you need to close.