Misinformation circulating online is causing some parents and caregivers to confuse regular rheumatic fever swabs for Covid-19 tests.
The National Hauora Coalition (NHC) and Counties Manukau Health issued a statement warning the community of the misinformation spreading on social media.
The misinformation implies that schools are testing children for Covid-19 without parental consent and then removing children from school who test positive without notification.
This is not true, the statement explained.
"The misinformation appears to [be] directed at the Mana Kidz programme which provides an equitable rheumatic fever prevention programme."
The service provides throat swabs to tamariki to detect Streptococcal infections, which if left untreated can lead to rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease which can be fatal.
"These throat swabs have reportedly been mistaken by some parents for a Covid-19 test.
"NHC and Counties Manukau Health emphatically state that no children involved in our Mana Kidz programme are being swabbed for Covid-19 or being removed from school."
Caregivers must provide give their written consent to have a child seen in the school-based Mana Kidz programme, the organisations said.
Caregivers are given information and a consent form for the programme when their
tamariki enrol at the school.
"We reiterate that no children involved in our school-based service are being swabbed for Covid-19 or being removed from school.
"This misinformation is not only incorrect, but it also risks seriously undermining an important health initiative.
"Rheumatic fever inequitably affects Māori and Pacific children in New Zealand. School-based throat swabbing services, such as the Mana Kidz programme, are a key element of rheumatic fever prevention interventions."
There were no new community cases of Covid-19 and three in MIQ reported yesterday.
Of the 11 positive cases linked to Auckland's February cluster, all remain in the Auckland quarantine facility.
More than 53,000 people have been tested since February 14 when the first cases of what is now known as the Valentine's Day outbreak were identified.
Papatoetoe High School students and staff were asked to all get retested this a week after the Ministry of Health revealed a student at the school and her two sisters had tested positive for the virus.
It was the third school family to contract the infection since February 14.
In a statement on Facebook, the school said its on-site testing facility would be open today from 9am for students and staff.
"We are down to small numbers who have not been tested on or since Monday, February 22.
"Let's get this testing done so we can all return to normal as one!"