Man charged over allegedly lying about having COVID-19

An Illawarra man has been charged after allegedly lying about testing positive to COVID-19 to get out of going to work in Newcastle.

Police say at about 4:15am on Monday, the 23-year-old man allegedly texted his employer stating he had tested positive and couldn’t come to work.

As a result his co-workers were stood down, had to get tested and self-isolate, and several locations near his place of employment required deep cleaning.

Later that day, the man allegedly sent another text to his employer advising his second test returned a negative result.

Subsequent inquiries confirmed the man never received a positive test result in the first place.

Wollongong Police District officers commenced an investigation after the matter was referred to NSW Police.

About 1pm yesterday, the man attended Wollongong Police Station, where he was arrested and charged with conveying false information that a person or property is in danger.

The West Wollongong man was granted bail to appear at Wollongong Local Court in September.