Covid 19 coronavirus: Warning after out-dated testing letter circulating on social media

An outdated Covid-19 fact sheet is circulating on social media advising people not to worry about isolating after getting a test.

The fact sheet is legitimate but issued prior to October last year and a spokesperson for Northern Region DHBs is urging people to ignore the advice.

The fact sheet tells people to “go about your life as usual in the current alert level while you wait for your result (you don’t need to self-isolate)”.

That goes against current advice and days of frustration expressed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield after members of the family connected to the latest cases went to either work or the gym after being tested.

A spokesperson for the DHBs – Northland, Waitematā, Auckland and Counties Manukau – today advised they were aware an “old version” of their fact was being shared on social media and that it was not to be used in connection with the current Papatoetoe outbreak.

“We are aware of an old version of a fact-sheet circulating online titled “COVID-19 Testing: Information for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms”.

“We can confirm the version you provided was used before October 2020.

“This version of the fact-sheet was not intended to be used in connection with the Papatoetoe cases and we are following up with our providers to ensure the correct version is being used.”

The ADHB’s new advice asks people only to self-isolate if they were deemed a close contact.

“You will be advised if you need to self-isolate while waiting for your test results.

“This depends on a number of things, including whether you have been told by public
health that you are a close contact of someone who has Covid-19.”

Dr Bloomfield today confirmed yesterday’s new case was the UK variant.

Contact tracers had identified a link between the two families from the Auckland suburb of Papatoetoe.

All information to date suggested all the confirmed cases were from one cluster, he said.

A key focus was now seeing if there were any new cases at Manukau Institute of Technology, where the latest community case studied.

Ardern said, so far, 75 per cent of people who had received Covid vaccines were from South Auckland and those in that area would have the general vaccination rolled out there first.

She said it made sense the vaccination programme started there as it was higher risk and where the majority of border staff lived.

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