Online rumours Omicron is active in the Northland community have been shut down by the region's district health board.
The Northland DHB used the same social media platform as the rumour mill to set the record straight.
A post on their Facebook page read: "There are rumours circulating on social media that Omicron is in the community in Northland.
"We can confirm there are NO Omicron cases currently in Northland."
They said a sample of recent cases in the region had been taken, analysed, and had shown the cases to be the Delta variant.
"Other recent cases in Northland are epidemiologically linked to the ones in the sample, so we are fairly certain they are also the Delta strain."
Various Northland community Facebook pages had posts from users, who claimed Omicron was active in the region and the media had been gagged from reporting them.
Many were met with satirical responses from those who recognised the health misinformation for what it was. Whereas others commented their concern with the "news".
Social media was previously described in an interview with the Advocate as a "move amplifier" by Dr Terryann Clark (Ngāpuhi) - a registered comprehensive nurse with extensive experience in youth health, youth mental health, and a University of Auckland associate professor.
She spoke about the effect it has on young people during which she discussed how algorithms could shape a person's online world.
"For instance, if young people are doing great all of their algorithms, all of their friends tend to support the generally healthy algorithm."
"But if you're a young person who is experiencing distress – for whatever reason – you are often looking at things that are reinforcing your life.
"So what then happens is the algorithms keep pushing you more and more content so you start thinking actually this is the reality for everyone. It really amplifies when young people are distressed," Clark said.
Assistant professor Steven Lloyd Wilson, from Brandeis University, and director of Cochrane South Africa, Charles Wiysonge, last year said social media algorithms caused a practice known as "outbidding".
During which misinformation gains traction because on the unlikely chance it is true, the consequences of the claims would be horrific.
"More extreme propaganda of negative effects is incentivised, thus leading to a spiral of threat matched by public fear," wrote Wilson and Wiysonge.
Kerikeri clinical psychologist Tracy Wakeford, who operates her practice MindMe, said misinformation could exacerbate symptoms for people already experiencing mental health difficulties.
"It comes down to our cognitive bias. We look for information that matches what we think our beliefs are.
"When we see information on social media our automatic cognitive bias means we're not always good at questioning what we're looking at," Wakeford said.
"People should check out credible sources and not just believe everything they see on TV, in the media, or on social media. It's good to be quite critical and question these things."
In order to help protect a person's mental health during the bombardment of Covid coverage and conservations, Wakeford suggested they take time out to do something "fun" or that sparks their sense of humour.
"It's really good for the brain," she said.
As well as keep active, get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, and follow all of the Covid safety precautions around hygiene, mask use, and social distancing, and so on, Wakeford said.
Even though Omicron had not yet entered Tai Tokerau, the district health board urged Northlanders to be prepared for when it does - "because it will".
"Te Tai Tokerau needs to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to survive the Omicron outbreak," the post read.
"Vaccination is your best defence and means you're far less likely to be seriously ill or transmit the virus to others if you become infected."
Vaccination clinic details can be found on the Northland DHB website or people are able to book online via the Book My Vaccine website.
bookmyvaccine.covid19.health.nz/ or by calling the Covid Vaccination Healthline team on 0800 28 29 26 from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.