Sorry - a word that 'Case L' may never hear from the government

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

Was the KFC worker's family in the right when members went on with their daily lives after getting Covid-19 tests?

An update on the government's Unite against Covid-19 Facebook page said: "Case J (Kmart worker) and case L (KFC worker) were not required to isolate at the time. The advice for all staff and students of Papatoetoe High School to isolate was updated on February 23, after the two had attended their shifts at their workplaces."  

Now National leader Judith Collins says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern needs to say whether the Covid-19 Facebook post is accurate.

"If it is, then she should apologise to the KFC employee," Collins says.

But the government says there were clear messages and many attempts to contact the family.

Ardern said in a press conference earlier in the week that the KFC worker would be "facing the judgment of the entire nation"  for being the ones who had "breached the rules"- but the case at the centre of it all may deserve an apology after all.

Told too late

Collins says the KFC worker had only got her notification to stay home after she started her shift at KFC. "Then we find that the prime minister has gone right in and criticised as well as social media."

Collins says some consideration should be taken with Case L but Covid response Minister Chris Hipkins is not budging. "The reality there is certainly enough information there that the person shouldn't have been going to work. I think that's the point that the PM was making, I think it's a very fair point to be making."

However, Collins isn't buying it, saying, "Just because they're told someone's had the message doesn't mean they got the message and in time."

Questions still remain on whether the government's messaging is sufficient or if it has been simply lost in translation. 

On Friday the cabinet will meet to decide if alert levels will change, followed by a press conference.