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Parents who test positive for Covid-19 won't lose children, health officials say of widespread false rumour

The Health Minister has again addressed a false rumour circulating amid the Covid-19 community-based outbreak, saying it could "erode people's confidence of going to go get tested". 

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Chris Hipkins said the rumours “erode people's confidence of going to go get tested”. Source: 1 NEWS

"I want to put down another rumour that we have been dealing with in the last 48 hours," Chris Hipkins said during today's 1pm briefing. "Oranga Tamariki will not be taking away the children of people who test positive for Covid-19."

"People should go and get tested, they should do the right thing, and those sorts of rumours certainly don't help.

"Those sorts of rumours are circulating in the community, and it does seem to be circulating particularly in the Māori and Pacific community based on the number of questions we have had about that."

On Sunday, Mr Hipkins cautioned New Zealanders to take anything spread on social media about Covid-19 with a grain of salt.

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Chris Hipkins says any unverified claims read online about Covid-19 should be treated as a ‘rumour’. Source: 1 NEWS

He called out one false online thread in particular which had claimed community transmission had been linked back to a woman from the original cluster having snuck into a managed isolation facility.

"Not only was it harmful and dangerous, it was totally and utterly wrong," Mr Hipkins said. 

There were five new cases of Covid-19 announced today, with the total at 101 active cases in New Zealand.