A male worker at the Port of Tauranga who claimed he tested positive for Covid-19 coronavirus has had his entry to the port suspended.
In a written statement Rochelle Lockley, the Port of Tauranga Limited's communications manager, confirmed the worker's claim was a hoax.
"On Friday night, Port of Tauranga was made aware that an employee of a port contractor claimed to have tested positive for Covid-19," Lockley said.
"The claim was quickly identified as a hoax and the worker's employer is now dealing with the situation. In the meantime, his (the worker) access to the port has been suspended."
Lockley said there had been no major disruption to operations at the port.
The Bay of Plenty Times understands the hoax claim was made in a private message group where workers were sharing their Covid-19 results, and the worker posted a copy of his but altered the negative to a positive result.
The worker's claim was soon shared with other staff and supposedly led part of the port being closed down for a period.
Lockley declined to comment further about the matter.
Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns could not be contacted for comment.
All 720 Port of Tauranga's high priority workers tested for Covid-19 last week have returned negative results
Bay of Plenty District Health Board has confirmed all 720 high-priority workers tested at a dedicated testing facility at the Port last week have returned negative results.
The board's interim chief executive Simon Everitt said it was a pleasing outcome.
"We would like to thank everyone involved in the response - those who worked tirelessly to set up the testing facility at short notice, and the amazing job of those involved throughout the testing process, and the tremendous combined effort to coordinate those who needed to be tested. "
And importantly, a big thanks to the port workers for their co-operation, he said.
Everett said the district health board continued to work closely with the port and its associated companies as part of its Covid-19 response.
"We acknowledge and support the action taken by Port of Tauranga and the company the individual works for. As this is an employment matter we have no further comment."