Northland will move to Alert Level 3 restrictions from 11:59pm tonight following recent information on the risk presented by the positive case initially tested in Whangarei earlier this week and confirmed in Auckland yesterday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said.
The person is now in an Auckland Managed Isolation Quarantine facility.
“Updated information provided by the police today shows the case moved extensively around Northland after travelling there on 2 October,” Chris Hipkins said.
“We believe this new information warrants an alert level change decision to keep Northland people safe.
“We recognise that it is unusual to put a region into Alert Level 3 when there are no further cases. However it’s vitally important that we get ahead of any potential spread, and set up widespread testing and continue contact tracing efforts.
“Restrictions will remain in place until 11.59pm Tuesday and will be reviewed at Cabinet on Monday.
“This is a strict Level 3 and as with Waikato, the easing steps announced for Auckland earlier this week will not apply to Northland.
“The Auckland boundary will stay in place.
“A public health investigation continues to identify close contacts and any potential locations of interest.
“The information we have at this stage is that the person was in Northland from the afternoon of 2 October until the evening of 6 October. They are believe to have travelled around the region, including in Whangarei, Kamo, Paihia and Kawakawa, before returning to Auckland.
“Widespread testing and wastewater testing will take place over the weekend.
“Every Northlander needs to stay home, get tested as soon as possible if they have symptoms, and continue to check the Ministry of Health website for updated locations of interest. And of course vaccination centres continue to be open in Alert Level 3.
“We know many people in Northland live rurally, but the advice is the same for everyone – get vaccinated, get tested, and follow the Alert Level 3 requirements.
“As we have seen in Waikato the virus is finding its way into rural areas and finding unvaccinated people. Distance is no barrier.”
“It’s never been more urgent to get vaccinated and we urge everyone to act now – don’t wait. Information on vaccine centres is available on the HealthPoint website.”
Locations of interest, testing and vaccination
The first locations of interest for Northland have been added to the Ministry of Health’s website.
They are the BP Connect Wylies petrol station at 49 Maunu Road, Woodhill, Whangarei from 11.20pm on 2 October to 12.20am 3 October. And the Z Kensington service station, corner of Kamo Road and Nixon Street, Whangarei from 3.45pm-4.45pm on 4 October.
Testing centres operating in the Northland region are at Kaitaia Hospital; 1 Sammaree Place in Kerikeri, Dargaville Hospital; 20 Winger Crescent in Kamo; and Pohe Island in Whangarei.