COVID-19: Queues stretch for blocks as anxious Aucklanders race to get tested

Queues at COVID-19 testing stations are stretching around the block as anxious Aucklanders race to get tested.

This was sparked by another case of community outbreak on Tuesday where four individuals from a single-family in south Auckland tested positive for COVID-19.

Footage taken by Newshub at the Henderson station shows a massive line of cars going around the block and taking up both lanes.

One upset Kiwi put out a warning: "Avoid Northcote at all costs!"

"We have come for an appt but the COVID testing station has cars backed up as far as Pupuke Road, down past Northcote shopping centre and backed up through Ocean View," they wrote on a North Shore Facebook group.

"It then loops around through Akoranga and down Exmouth. They estimate approx a six-seven hour wait for a test!"

COVID-19: Queues stretch for blocks as anxious Aucklanders race to get tested
Photo credit: Newshub

Police have put out a traffic update asking people to stay away from the affected areas unless necessary.

"High traffic volumes are currently being experienced on College Road, Northcote and in Henderson at the corner of Edsel Street and Catherine Street," a spokesperson says.

"The congestion is in relation COVID-19 testing sites at the two locations.

"Motorists are asked to avoid unnecessary travel in the area if possible and we ask for patience from those who are in the area and impacted by the congestion."

The Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) says capacity at Auckland's four Community Testing Centres has been boosted with extra staff and longer hours.

"Traffic management is in place at all four sites, but people should expect longer waits than usual and be patient," a spokesperson says.

Two pop-up centres have been opened - one in the Otara Town Centre carpark and another at Health 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.

"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," the ADHB spokesperson says.

"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."