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Woodturners staff working at ‘Ground Zero’ have returned negative Covid-19 test results. Photo: SUPPLIED

Morale ‘pretty high’ after Covid-19 scare

The owner of the Hauraki cafe visited by a Covid-positive Aucklander on August 15 is praising his staff for undergoing rigorous testing and a “severe” lockdown.
Blair Mattock told The Profile morale remained high after Woodturners Cafe on State Highway 2, Mangatarata, was named as a location of interest following a visit by a man who was not aware he’d contracted the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus.
Up to 10 staff were working that day, and all had since been required to have three Covid-19 tests and go through a “severe lockdown”, Mr Mattock said.
“You can’t go anywhere, even to get groceries or go for a walk. I’m still doing a lot of reading and cleaning,” he said.
Mr Mattock and his staff underwent three separate Covid-19 tests: one as soon as they were identified as a location of interest, another on Day Five, and the final test on Day 12, which was taken on Friday, August 27.
All but one have come back negative, with the remaining staff member to get their final Day 12 results this week.
Mr Mattock said his staff were all locals, from around the Ngatea and Mangatarata areas. He said they had been “great” and would be looking forward to the day work at the cafe could return to normal.
“The morale is pretty high and everyone’s been in touch with everyone else and are giving [each other] support.
“I think everyone will be pretty keen to get back to work.”
But that wouldn’t be until Alert Level 2, he said, when travel was no longer restricted between borders.
“We’ve been hit every time with Covid, because as soon as Auckland gets a cold, we sneeze, and as soon as they go out of level 2, the state highway dies.
“You could go out and play tennis on SH2, it’s that quiet.”
But Mr Mattock said lockdown had been a “learning experience” and he was impressed with the thorough nature of the tests.
“I was quite surprised at the amount of work that’s involved with the Healthline people. Every day they check in, and every day they’ve got their questions and ask you about how you’re feeling and if you’ve complied with everything. It must be a huge operation.”
He wanted to thank the cafe’s loyal customers and the wider community for their ongoing support.
“It is amazing… and really appreciated,” he said. By KELLEY TANTAU