A Christchurch business that chose to be cautious and send staff home after an employee was falsely told he had tested positive for Covid-19 was rapped over the knuckles by a top Canterbury health official.
Aranz Medical chief executive Bruce Davey said a staff member who had not travelled outside the region was told he had tested positive for Covid on Wednesday by his doctor.
The employee was later told he had been given an incorrect test result and did not have the virus.
In the meantime, staff from the medical technology company were sent home from their office in Wynn Williams House on Hereford St as a precaution.
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Many employees went to get tested to ensure they were Covid-free, Stuff understands.
Davey said the company had no contact from the Ministry of Health and chose to send staff home, thinking they were doing the right thing.
Stuff also understands a Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) medical officer of health then contacted Davey and reprimanded the business for not getting in touch with the health board before it made the decision to send staff home.
The health board was also “frustrated” that staff were getting tested when they didn’t need to.
CDHB medical officer of health Dr Cheryl Brunton confirmed a person who was tested for Covid-19 in Christchurch on Wednesday was incorrectly told they had the virus.
Brunton said the issue had een resolved and the health board would not comment on any correspondence it had with Aranz Medical.
She urged anyone who visited locations of interest in Wellington at the same time the person from Sydney who tested positive was there to follow the latest government advice.
“Canterbury remains at alert level 1 but alert level 1 isn’t alert level none.
Everyone still needs to play their part to keep up all the good habits which have helped keep the Canterbury community free of Covid for months now.”
She reminded people to keep track of where they have been, to stay home if they’re sick, to cough and sneeze into their elbows, wash and dry their hands often, use hand sanitiser frequently and seek health advice if they have any symptoms.
“Mask use is essential on public transport. Scan, scan, scan, wherever you are, whenever you can – and make sure Bluetooth is switched on within the app.”