Coronavirus: Testing stations set up around New Zealand as fears of 'community spread' grow

For the first time since the virus arrived in this country, authorities cannot rule out that it's managed what's called 'community spread'.

Two of the new cases revealed on Saturday don't appear to be infections that were contracted while overseas.

And that would be a significant development - and will push up demand for tests at the walk-in and drive-in centres now set up for the public.

Testing centres have been set up in Auckland, Canterbury and Waikato with others around the country to follow.

The Auckland testing centre was busy after it opened on Saturday morning, as the city waits to hear if there's community transmission of the virus.

Volunteers were out in gloves, gowns, masks and goggles, face-to-face with worried Aucklanders driving through for a test.

"Patients have been great accepting there's been a little bit of anxiety and uncertainty," says White Cross Healthcare CEO Dr Alistair Sullivan.

Only the sick are swabbed.

"We're generally preparing to only swab and test people who currently meet the current test definition," Dr Sullivan says.

Within two hours of the St Lukes centre opening, 50 people had driven in. Twenty of them were serious enough to test.

"If there's a community outbreak [we need] to effectively test more people to identify where the outbreak is focused," Dr Sullivan says.

It's been 22 days since the first positive test and the Ministry of Health's Director-General Dr Ashley Bloomfield says it's "more important now than ever" to track and trace infected people.

That's because on Saturday 13 new cases were announced in Auckland, Waikato, Taupo, Manuwatu, Wellington and Nelson.

But of greatest concern is one in Auckland and another in the Wairarapa because there's no link to travel overseas.

"So at this point we cannot rule out the risk of community transmission in these cases," Dr Bloomfield says.

Labs are working around the clock and 2500 swabs have been tested in the past 48 hours.

There's relief for now with much-needed testing kits on their way.

"We've been successful in getting additional testing kits from Singapore which were secured yesterday," Dr Bloomfield says.

Now the country collectively hopes for the best but prepares for the worst as more and more people enter the unknown, waiting to hear if it's them who will become the next addition to the growing number of cases.