Monday, 6 Dec 2021

Covid 19 Delta outbreak: Employer of Waiheke case says man is not an essential worker, raises questions on how he came to be on island


An Auckland employer is disputing the Ministry of Health’s claim that a Covid-19 positive case on Waiheke Island is an essential worker.

The case is the first on Waiheke, which is supposed to be shut off from the rest of Auckland under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act and Alert Level 3 Order due to the limited medical resources on the Island.

Today RNZ spoke to his employer, who said the man was last at work on a construction site a week ago and complained of feeling sick.

He was not there on Thursday and Friday and told his boss on Monday that he was Covid-positive.

Colleagues have since been tested and are isolating but there have been no more positive cases.

The man is understood to have travelled to Waiheke on Sunday, travelling via car ferry during which trip he did not leave his vehicle.

There are no locations of interest on Waiheke and today the director-general of health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, said public health teams had spoken to the man and assessed him as being low risk.

Bloomfield said the case was “watertight” and was isolating safely on a property without contact with others.

He also said he was an essential worker, but his employer rejected that.

The employer claimed toRNZ the man is not an essential worker, and raised questions as to how he came to be on the island.

The employer also called into question the full details of the story.

The Herald has put the new revelations to the Ministry of Health for comment.

The Ministry earlier told the Herald that the case was a close contact of an existing case in Auckland, and was part of the home isolation interim model.

It said there were now 101 Covid cases across 55 households in the wider Auckland community, isolating at home.

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