MIQ security guard with Covid-19 falsely claimed he had been tested regularly — officials

A Grand Millennium worker who tested positive for Covid-19 allegedly supplied information to his employer that he had been tested regularly prior to last week, according to health officials.

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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

But records revealed today suggest the worker — known as Case B — might not have been tested since as far back as November.

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."

The Prime Minister accused the person of "lying" to their employer. 

"We’re getting advised, in this case, the individual was lying to the employer. 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."

Jacinda Ardern said they were looking at possible consequences.

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

Police were also called in to help with contact tracing efforts for the worker, Hipkins revealed today. 

Police are used "from time to time" to help pull information such as CCTV records in contact tracing efforts, Hipkins said. 

Bloomfield said the person provided bank and phone records.

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

An investigation was launched this week after it was revealed by Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield that the security guard Case B had not been previously 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. 

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."

Tremain said they were "in the process of verifying that".

"He is a relief worker, a back-up worker, for the security area. I would say he's a regular relief worker from what we understand."

It was confirmed during the questioning that even part-time workers need to be tested every two weeks in MIQ facilities. 

The issue has seen Hipkins tighten the rules around the logging of MIQ staff Covid-19 testing.

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It comes after officials were unable to report when a worker last had a test, prior to a positive result. Source: 1 NEWS

The security guard is one of three workers at the hotel to test positive in recent weeks.