Northland to level 3 after Aucklander refuses cooperation with contact tracers

By Will Trafford

Above: Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins addresses the public at a hastily organised press briefing in Pōneke.

Tai Tokerau will go to Covid-19 Alert Level 3 at 11:59 PM tonight for four days after a Covid-positive Auckland woman who visited the region refused to cooperate with contact tracers.

At a press conference this evening Covid-19 response minister Chris Hipkins said the individual had falsely obtained travel documents and "travelled widely" within the region.

Initial information from Police suggests she travelled to Whangarei, Kamo, Paihia and Kawakawa between the afternoon of October 2 to the evening of October 6.

Hipkins said while there were no new cases to report in Northland, the cabinet was acting out of an "abundance of caution" due to the unknown number of exposures and Northland's low vaccination rates, particularly of Maōri.

Police believe the woman was travelling with another woman who they are also yet to locate.

Locations of interest will be updated on the Ministry of Health's website.

So far locations include the BP Connect Wylies petrol station at 49 Maunu Road, Woodhill, Whangarei from 11.20pm on October 2 to 12.20am on October 3 and the Z Kensington Service station, corner of Kamo Road and Nixon Street, Whangarei from 3.45pm-4.45pm on October 4.

Hipkins appealed to anyone exhibiting symptoms to get a test as soon as possible.

Testing centres are operating across Northland. These are at Kaitaia Hospital; 1 Sammaree Place in Kerikeri, Dargaville Hospital; 20 Winger Crescent in Kamo; and Pohe Island in Whangarei.

Hipkins said ministers would review the alert level at their scheduled cabinet meeting on Monday.