Government handling of apartment block where latest COVID-19 case lives described as shambolic

While a major outbreak may have been avoided this time the Government's handling of the Vincent apartment block where the woman lives has been described as shambolic.

Newshub witnessed at least eight people leaving today, despite residents being told to isolate.

One after another, residents walked out of a building they've been told not to leave

With a suitcase, a packed backpack, a gym bag, one was off to the dairy to get coffee and milk, another on a mission to get baby items: "Essentials which will be another run later on probably tomorrow because I'll have to do milk powder and stuff for baby and nappies and stuff," the leaving resident told Newshub.

Letters were slipped under their doors last night, including one with explicit instructions: "Do not leave your apartment for any reason until you receive a negative test result."

The problem is many residents didn't bother reading it: "We got a paper, but I haven't read it yet."

"I haven't opened the pamphlet so."

Others didn't understand it: "When you say isolation, what set of rules?" A resident asked. 

And today's confusion follows yesterday's testing chaos where residents were seen packed into the lobby waiting for tests rather than socially distanced. 

Some people simply left, one woman was taken away in PPE, but not before she walked through the lobby, the wrong way down the street, to the wrong van, before turning around and walking back down the street to the right one.

Changes were only made after it was reported by Newshub.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins addressed the issue on Friday at a press conference.

"My understanding was that the public health [units] were going to be there last night. it became apparent earlier this morning that there weren't people at the front door this morning, so as soon as I became aware of that, I got on the phone and made sure that happened," he said. 

ACT Party Leader David Seymour attacked the Government's response via Twitter on Friday.

"This Labour government couldn't deliver a pizza let alone a coherent response to COVID-19," he wrote. 

Friday ended with more confusion about why the woman, now known as Case D, went to work while she was sick and waiting for a test result.

On Thursday officials said she'd tried to call in sick, but was told to go into work, on Friday afternoon a statement from the owners of A-Z Collections, through their lawyer stated otherwise.

"She did not call in sick or ask for sick leave. If we knew she was feeling unwell, we would not have asked her to come in."

Case D also released a statement through her employers' lawyer saying she only had minor symptoms.

"[I] did not request leave at any time. I did not think it was a big deal, I contacted the Government many times begging them to correct the information."

On Friday afternoon some Vincent residents got good news of negative COVID-19 test results, medical supplies and food were delivered so people didn't need to leave and Police visited.

But still residents continue to come and go, officials seemingly powerless to stop them.