The New Zealand Film Commission has confirmed CEO Annabelle Sheehan has been diagnosed with the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.
According to a statement from the commission, Sheehan’s symptoms are currently minor, and she is recovering in isolation at home in Wellington.
During her recovery, COO Mladen Ivanic will stand in as acting CEO.
“During the three-day period in which Annabelle was working in the Wellington office, asymptomatic but infectious, the NZFC was trialling its virtual-meeting capability. Therefore, there was reduced staff contact, and no physical contact with people in the film industry or with other government officials, and none with Ministers or Parliamentary staff. Other professional and personal contacts have been informed,” the statement said.
“All NZFC staff, who are already working remotely, have been told. Those in close contact with Annabelle during the three-day period are informing or have informed their professional and personal contacts.”
Sheehan joined the NZFC in January 2018, having previously been CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC). She has also been a director of production investment at Screenwest, was the CEO RGM Artist Group, and headed film and television at AFTRS.
To limit the spread of COVID-19, New Zealand enters a strict lockdown from today. Expected to last four weeks, it will see people instructed to stay at home and self-isolate, and only essential services and businesses remain open. All production has ceased, and cinemas are closed.
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