The Auckland store at the centre of the latest Covid-19 case has refuted accusations by Government officials it told its employee to work despite her feeling sick.
On Thursday it was revealed an AUT student became symptomatic on Monday, was tested on Tuesday and asked to isolate, but then went to work at A-Z Collections on High St on Wednesday.
Officials claimed yesterday afternoon the woman - aged in her 20s who worked in a role serving customers - tried to phone in sick to her job but after a conversation with her manager ended up coming in and wearing a mask.
The alleged actions were widely criticised, including by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, who said he was frustrated and disappointed by the incident.
But the store owners have rubbished the claims they told her to work despite her feeling sick.
On Thursday evening, one of the owners told the Heald he had been abused by members of the public and was seeking legal advice.
On Friday, their lawyer James Peacock provided the Herald a signed statutory declaration from the owners, stating the woman did not call in sick nor ask for leave.
"Both the employers and employee are clear: before the employee was diagnosed on [November 12, 2020], the employer was not told by the employee or by anyone else that she was feeling unwell. She did not call in sick or ask for leave."
The employer also acknowledged "verbal violence text messages or emails" they had received.
"However, I want to be clear that there are still many sensible and kind people who send messages expressing their concern for us.
"Covid-19 is a global disaster. We hope that everyone will unite to face this hard time, find a solution and control the virus. We are a New Zealand business. We have been playing our part as a member of the team of five million and will continue to do so as best as can."
Meanwhile, some other locations the student visited have decided to remain open after a deep clean and acting on Ministry of Health advice.
This afternoon, Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins said New Zealand would remain at alert level 1 and Auckland's CBD would re-open after the source of the latest community Covid-19 case was identified.
The woman's infection had been genomically linked to the Defence worker who was infected at a quarantine hotel.
There were no new cases connected today, he said.
However, the Government is asking New Zealanders to continue to act with caution to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.