Almost 100 healthcare workers were infected with Covid-19 while they were doing their jobs during the first outbreak - equating to 10 per cent of all local cases.
Health unions say workplaces failed to keep staff safe and want a WorkSafe investigation. They're also frustrated with the lack of detailed information about how workers were infected with the deadly virus saying "it isn't good enough" it hasn't been publicly reported.
It comes as health officials confirm the nurse who tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday was infected while caring for a patient in quarantine at the Jet Park Hotel in Auckland.
Ministry data shows 167 healthcare workers contracted Covid-19 up until mid-June - 96 of those "were likely to have been infected" in their workplace.
After removing the strictly imported cases from the 1504 confirmed cases during the first outbreak, 931 cases were locally-acquired.
That means 10 per cent of all local cases were health workers likely infected doing their jobs.
There have also been another five healthcare workers connected to the current outbreak but at this stage health officials can only confirm the nurse working at the Jet Park was infected while doing their job.
Director general of health Ashley Bloomfield said the nurse's case had been epidemiologically linked to a person being quarantined at the hotel and needed treatment before being hospitalised.
"The healthcare worker went into their room to provide care and assess them ahead of hospitalisation," Bloomfield said.
"A review is under way at this very point and time to have a good look as to what happened and the circumstances to see if there are any lessons to be learned, any changes to protocols."
A separate descriptive report on Covid-19 in healthcare workers is in the process of being peer-reviewed and the ministry expects it to be released this month.
But until then the ministry can't provide data on what work they were doing, whether it was a hospital, rest home or other setting or even which region they were in.
Unions say this isn't good enough.
E Tu director, Sam Jones, said health officials should have been tracking infection rates of frontline health workers and publicly reporting it from the very beginning of the pandemic.
"If you don't figure out what went wrong, how do you know what needs fixing?"
E Tu is calling for mandatory testing of health workers and Jones said this would help keep staff and patients safe because often by the time an infection was identified it was "too late".
An independent review of Covid-19 clusters in rest homes found there were delays in recognising there was an outbreak accelerated transmission.
A recent survey of its 16,000 health members - who work across rest homes, in-home care and as orderlies, cleaners, food services, security, laundry workers and maintenance in hospitals - found 85 per cent wanted compulsory regular testing with income protection if stood down.
Health unions have long called for clear reporting on the rate of infection of health workers after the ministry stopped reporting it on its website in April. In May, then Health Minister David Clark said he'd also asked the ministry for that information.
Jones wants a WorkSafe investigation - which is supported by the nurses' union - but this has been rejected because WorkSafe considers the infections to be "clinical incidences".
A spokeswoman confirmed their position hadn't changed and it was unlikely they would investigate 100 different incidents.
New Zealand Nurses Organisation kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku disagreed with WorkSafe and said the infections were "serious failings" of health and safety strategies.
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act workers are entitled to work in environments where health risks are properly controlled.
"We need to call it what it is - these were health and safety breaches that have put the workers at risk," said Nuku.
During the April lockdown, frontline workers complained about not getting the PPE and that the guidance on when it was needed was confusing. An Auditor General's investigation later confirmed this.
A separate investigation into how seven Waitākere Hospital nurses were infected with Covid-19 found there were "usability" problems with PPE and nurses were forced to change their protective wear up to eight times a shift.
Nuku called these investigations "piecemeal" and wants the factors which led to their exposure fully independently investigated and its recommendations implemented.
A Lancet study of UK and USA health staff found about 10 to 20 per cent of all Covid-19 infections occurred among healthcare workers.
And the UK's Office of National Statistics found nurses had "statistically significantly higher rates of death involving Covid-19" compared with the general population. In three months, 101 nurses died from the virus and 268 social care workers died.
In New York, one in four of the state's approximately 158,000 nursing home workers—were infected with Covid-19 between March and early June.