NZ Post stands down one Auckland processing shift as COVID precaution

22 Aug 2020

NZ Post has acted on advice from health officials and as a COVID-19 pre-caution has stood down its team members who work the day shift at its Auckland parcel processing centre in Highbrook on full pay.

“Following advice from health officials late last night our 70 people on the processing day shift are now in self-isolation until Saturday 29 August. This is for the remainder of the two week incubation period from when the last infectious staff member was on site, which was Friday 14 August,” says Mark Stewart, NZ Post Chief Operating Officer.

Two positive tests were returned from people on this Day Shift last week. Since then over 300 people who work at the NZ Post Auckland Operations Centre have been tested.

While no additional positive tests have been returned yet, a further two people are unwell. Health officials now advise that all those working on the day shift should now be considered ‘close contacts’.

“This is an unsettling time for our people and their families. We are supporting those who are directly affected, respecting their personal situation and supporting other teams at NZ Post who are concerned about their colleagues and for each other,” says Mr Stewart.

“NZ Post has strict safety measures in place under Alert Level 3 and 2. This includes 2 metre physical distancing, mask wearing and hygiene measures at the Auckland Operations Centre and we are very vigilant about following them. This will of course continue to be a priority for us.”

Following the two positive COVID tests last week, NZ Post adopted all measures advised by health officials including a deep clean of the site, standing down close contacts and additional controls including instituting 2 metre physical distancing and other PPE controls. The site was deemed fit to reopen after these actions were taken.

“We are again following health officials advice and doing a further deep clean today. Officials have advised that the site is safe for our other processing shifts to keep operating, with our COVID safety measures in place,” says Mr Stewart.

“We are working through the implications of the shift change on our processing and delivery timeframes,” says Mr Stewart. “At this stage our earlier advice that due to Alert Level 3 safety measures there may be up to two day delays for items delivered to the Auckland area remains.

”Delivery of mail is not affected by these delays at this stage.”

NZ Post will update its customers if this changes.

Please note, the safety of our people and our communities is of the utmost importance to us. The medical advice we have received indicates that the transferal of COVID-19 through mail and parcels is low risk. COVID-19 is largely transmitted by respiratory droplets, and there is not good evidence that surface transmission is occurring in operational environments such as ours where physical distancing, use of face masks, hygiene, safety procedures and environmental factors are in place. We have also re-implemented contactless delivery to avoid the need for physical contact between our Couriers and customers to help further prevent any spread of COVID-19.