Health authorities in Auckland are asking residents to be vigilant and follow public health advice following a positive case of COVID-19 in the city, which has seen a short term return to Alert Level 3. Health authorities are also advising Aucklanders not to panic.
A person in their 50s was confirmed as having COVID-19 this afternoon, the first community case reported in Auckland since May 22. Since that time some members of the person’s household have also tested positive.
Northern Region Health Coordination Centre Lead (and Counties Manukau Health CEO) Margie Apa said the health sector in Auckland is well prepared to respond to new community cases but asks Aucklanders to prepare to be patient if they are aiming to be tested tomorrow.
“This news is of concern, but we expected to see further community cases in Auckland at some point in this pandemic, and we are well prepared.
“We are working closely with the Ministry of Health and other agencies to ensure everything possible is done to contain the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
“Our message to people living in Auckland is to continue to be vigilant. The best defense against COVID-19 is to follow the same actions we took earlier in the pandemic. Maintain good hand hygiene. If you are sick, stay home. Keep track of your movements to help us with contact tracing. Maintain physical distancing.
“If you have any symptoms, please get a free test at your local doctor, Urgent Care Clinic, or at one of our Community Testing Centres. If you are unsure, call your local doctor or Healthline. We advise that you ring ahead if you are planning to see your practice.”
“The all-of-community response that served us well in the early days of the pandemic is now more important than ever and we thank everyone for continuing do their part.”
Capacity at Auckland’s four Community Testing Centres has been boosted from tomorrow, with additional staff and longer hours. Traffic management is in place at all four sites, but people should expect longer waits than usual and be patient.
Two pop-up centres will be open from 9am tomorrow. One in Otara Town Centre carpark (14 Fair Mall, Otara), the second at Health New Lynn (Level 1 carpark, Totara Health Services, McCrae Way, New Lynn).
General Practices and Urgent Care Clinics are also prepared for a higher volume of testing. Mobile testing units are on standby to be deployed rapidly to locations throughout the city as directed by public health.
All health services are regarded as essential and should continue as usual with an additional focus on infection prevention control measures and distancing of patients. Hospitals will continue with planned care including clinics and surgery – patients should keep their appointments unless advised otherwise by their specialists. The city’s hospitals and aged residential care facilities are updating their visitor policies and other protocols to protect the most vulnerable.
If you have any concerns please seek advice from Healthline or any GP on getting a free test.