Covid-19: Northland and Waikato areas to spend another five days in level 3

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STUFF

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield field questions around the women who entered Northland with falsified documents.

Northland and much of Waikato will remain at alert level 3 for another five days, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has confirmed.

The regions were plunged into level 3 when Auckland’s ongoing Delta outbreak spread out of the city.

Hipkins said getting contact tracing information from two women, one infected with Covid and one who later tested positive, who travelled to from Auckland to Northald using falsified travel exemption documents has “remained slow going” and advised people to get tested.

“We still don’t have confidence that we’ve got a full enough picture of the situation,” he said.

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Northland is in alert level 3.

Ricky Wilson/Stuff

Northland is in alert level 3.

It comes as 55 new community cases were reported on Thursday – 2 of which are in Waikato while the rest are in Auckland.

The new cases were members of the same household who live in Hamilton and have been transferred to a managed isolation facility, Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said.

They haven’t yet been linked to the outbreak but have few exposure events, he said.

Parts of Waikato have been in level 3 for 10 days after Raglan, Te Kauwhata, Huntly, Ngāruawāhia, Hamilton City and some surrounding areas moved to level 3 at midnight on October 3.

Four days later the Waikato boundary was extended from include Waitomo District, including Te Kuiti, Waipa District and Ōtorohanga District.

Northland was moved to alert level 3 on Friday after two women, one infected with Covid and one who later tested positive, travelled there from Auckland using falsified travel exemption documents.

Since then, a third person with Covid-19 has visited Northland – this time for essential work delivering goods to a tyre store.

Steve Taylor Tyre Service in Whangārei’s Kamo has closed for a deep-clean and isolation of staff, after the freight worker was on the site on Saturday.

Exposure events were low because the journey took place in the early hours of the morning, Bloomfield said.

Ardern on Monday said the regions may move down to level 2, alongside the rest of the country outside of Auckland, on Thursday but the decision would be reviewed on Wednesday.

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