COVID-19: Recovered cases shocked, uncomfortable at cases leak

Two recovered COVID-19 patients are shocked the details of 18 active cases were leaked, and say they'd be upset and uncomfortable if it was their personal information.

There are concerns the leak could undermine the public health response, and to those who've had the virus, it's inexcusable.

One woman said she was treated differently "even months after recovery", and the leak "makes me very uncomfortable", saying "it should be up to [patients] who they tell".

Another said: "If it had been me, it would have felt like it was an invasion of privacy, and I would have been very upset."

The State Services Commission is tasked with getting to the bottom of the leak. It confirmed to Newshub it will press on with its inquiry. 

There are still questions to answer. Those working in privacy are wondering how the now-former acting CEO of the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust, Michelle Boag, received the information.

"No CEO of a health organisation necessarily needs that access unless there is a particular reason," privacy lawyer Kathryn Dalziel says.

There are concerns the breach could have public health side-effects. People need to trust the system if tracking and tracing is continued as part of the COVID-19 response.

"Those programmes just simply won't work if people don't have trust in Government," Dalziel says.

There's precedent for an early exit from the Clutha-Southland seat.

Todd Barclay resigned in 2017 after secretly recording a staff member.

When Barclay made a hasty exit, Hamish Walker got the shoo-in, only to announce his own exit before one term was out after admitting to leaking the COVID-19 patients' information.