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Man's 'fake Covid text' to group chat shuts down worksite

A Dubbo man is accused of sending a fake positive COVID-19 text message to a group chat, forcing the closure of a worksite in NSW's central west.

The man was tested on Thursday and received a negative result on Friday via text message.

But police allege he altered the text to display a positive result and sent it on to a group chat.

One of the recipients notified his workplace believing he was a close contact, and the worksite was suspended for the day while everyone was told to get tested.

Generic image of a health warning from Telstra on a mobile phone in Melbourne, Wednesday, March, 25, 2020. Telstra has begun issuing health warnings via their telecommunications service. (AAP Image/James Ross) NO ARCHIVING
The man altered a text message to say he had tested positive to Covid. Source: AAP/File pic (AAPIMAGE)

The man was subsequently charged with false representation resulting in a police investigation.

He is due before Dubbo Local Court on September 27.

Second tradie caught 'faking' Covid

It comes just weeks after another tradie was charged with fraud after allegedly pretending he had Covid to get time off work.

“His co-workers were stood down and self-isolated while awaiting their test results, and several locations near his place of employment required deep cleaning,” NSW Police said in a statement.

The 23-year-old Illawarra man faces five years behind bars.

NSW hits new Covid record

NSW announced 390 new local Covid-19 cases on Friday, with at least 60 infectious while in the community.

During a media conference on Friday Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned that she anticipates numbers will continue to soar in the coming days.

"Unfortunately this trend will continue for at least the next few days," she said. "It means all of us have to work harder to make sure we start and follow the rules."

Two more people have died from the virus, including a woman in her 40s who died at her home in southwest Sydney. She was not vaccinated, Dr Marianne Gale, Director of Population and Community Health, said.

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