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Chris Hipkins warns Kiwis not to share 'fake, untrue' social media content about Covid-19

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has again warned New Zealanders not to share "fake, untrue" social media content about Covid-19.

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Hipkins says incorrect information about a lockdown was circulating online last night. Source: 1 NEWS

At today's 1pm briefing Hipkins says incorrect information about a lockdown was circulating online last night.

“I was made alert last night there were a number of Facebook infographics purporting to report a lockdown for New Zealand communities from today, I do want to re-iterate that is fake and not true," he says.

"People should only share information that is verified as if not true it can cause harm."

He went on to say the fake information can cause "anxiety" and have bad consequences when spread on social media.

"It's good that people share news on Covid-19, but just make sure it's verifiable and accurate."

Hipkins also announced there have been no new community Covid-19 cases recorded in New Zealand today.

It comes as the Ministry of Health yesterday said it was investigating one positive test result found in Northland, a 56-year-old woman.

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Dr Bloomfield provided the update as Northland grapples with a case in the community. Source: 1 NEWS

The woman has now been confirmed as a positive case.

Genome sequencing has confirmed the woman had been infected with the South African variant of the virus, Hipkins said.

He said investigations also found it was "highly likely" the woman caught the virus from a fellow returnee at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland, where she was staying in managed isolation. He said there was a direct link between the woman and the returnee, with no missing link in between.

Investigations into how that transmission occurred will continue, he said.

Hipkins said, in light of the case, 46 people have been asked to stay at managed isolation at the Pullman facility for longer, as a "precaution". They will also undergo an additional test before their exit.

He said 253 returnees left the Pullman within the new infection window of the Northland case. Health authorities have had contact with 172 of them as of this morning, and work continues for the rest.

Hipkins said all returnees who exited the Pullman from January 9 to 24 are asked to self-isolate until they get a negative test.

Northland Covid-19 community case confirmed as having South Africa variant

For the 220 staff at the facility, 114 have already been tested. The remaining will be tested this afternoon, and test results are expected early tomorrow, he said.

“As is normal in a situation like this, an investigation is being carried out urgently to look again at whether there are further changes that need to be made," Hipkins said of the managed isolation facility.

The woman who contracted Covid-19 completed a 14-day stay in managed isolation at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland on January 13, after travelling back to New Zealand from Europe. Health officials said the woman had reported experiencing Covid-19 symptoms following her stay.

Since yesterday evening, the Ministry of Health has been releasing details of her movements from January 14, up until January 22.

This morning, Hipkins said the first test results of two close contacts of the woman have come back negative.

The Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said 15 people in total were being treated as close contacts of the woman.

There were also six new cases of Covid-19 detected in managed isolation since yesterday.