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Jacinda Ardern accuses infected MIQ guard of 'lying' to employer about Covid-19 tests

The Prime Minister has accused an infected security guard at the Grand Millennium MIQ facility of "lying" to their employer about getting regular Covid-19 tests.

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Jacinda Ardern also said the employer “needed to have checks and balances in place”. Source: 1 NEWS

It was revealed today that MIQ had no official records showing the person had been tested since November 2020 - prior to last week's positive test.

"We’re getting advised, in this case, the individual was lying to the employer," Jacinda Ardern claimed. "Ultimately, that employer needed to have checks and balances in place that they were still doing what was required."

"If someone is not fulfilling their requirements and lying about it, you can see that presents issues."

Ardern said they were looking at possible ramifications. 

"That is ultimately a decision made by police, and I believe WorkSafe have a role there."

1 NEWS has approached the employer. 

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It comes after a Grand Millennium security guard who contracted the virus last week hadn’t been tested since November. Source: 1 NEWS

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said during a press conference today that the individual was supplying information to the employer that they were being tested. 

"At this point it appears that was not the case," Hipkins said.

"Some of the information doesn’t match up.

"It started to become apparent something was not quite right over the last week or so."

An investigation was launched this week after it was revealed by Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield that the security guard - Case B in the latest outbreak at the central Auckland hotel - had not been tested for Covid-19 since at least mid-March.

When asked earlier, Brigadier Jim Bliss, head of managed isolation and quarantine, was not able to tell media when Case B's last test prior to April 6 took place. 

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The Grand Millennium security guard told his employer had been tested regularly, but it appears that is not the case. Source: 1 NEWS

Today, Bloomfield, Brigadier Bliss and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's chief executive Carolyn Tremain faced MPs during a Health Select Committee meeting. 

During questioning from National's Chris Bishop, Tremain said prior to last week's positive Covid-19 test, the worker's MIQ testing record showed he hadn't been tested since November last year. 

Tremain said that in the border testing system, "which not all employers have records in, it shows he was last tested in November".

"We have information in our system but we know the employer also has manual records."

It is a rule that all MIQ workers, no matter how infrequent their shifts might be, have to be tested for Covid-19 every two weeks. 

Hipkins signed an order last night making it mandatory for employers to use the Ministry of Health's border testing worker testing register to keep tabs on the testing of those in high risk places of work. 

Case B's employer had used it and another system to keep track of testing.