A leader in the suburb of Mt Roskill says the Christian community in Auckland feels marginalised from COVID-19 backlash.
Ward councillor Christine Fletcher says Christian leaders are feeling frustrated over the backlash, which has come as a result of the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship being at the epicentre of Auckland's largest sub-cluster of COVID-19 cases.
Fletcher says unfair comments have been hurled at the church, which has been linked to 33 COVID-19 cases.
She told Newshub the negativity has to stop.
"It has been expressed to me [there has been] some frustration by some of the Christian community that they have been marginalised by some of the public.
"They have encouraged all of their congregations to go and have tests - I hope that we can bring a closure to those sorts of silly comments that have been made."
Ninety-eight percent of the Mt Roskill Evangelical congregation has now been tested and Fletcher said locals have been responsible.
There's a high level of awareness about the Mt Roskill cluster, which has 48 active cases, and the Evangelical Fellowship sub-cluster, Fletcher said.
"People are wearing face masks, people are taking the use of the testing station - it's effective and convenient."
Fletcher said Mt Roskill is ready for alert level 1 but people must take care.
However, public health expert professor Michael Baker told The AM Show on Monday 2.5 remains the right COVID-19 alert level for the time being, due to there still being active cases in the community.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff also isn't sure if the super city is ready for the move, noting other countries have paid the price for moving too soon.
"There are still some community cases - one or two a day at the moment," Goff told Newshub. "That's a good sign that it's that low but it may take just a little bit longer."
On Sunday, Auckland Regional Public Health warned anyone who was at Les Mills in Takapuna last Wednesday and Thursday, in certain RPM Sprint or Body Combat classes, they are at risk of becoming unwell after a positive COVID-19 case visited without knowing they were infectious.
Anyone who becomes unwell is urged to stay home and contact Healthline as soon as possible to arrange a COVID-19 test.
The infected person also went shopping at the Milford branches of Countdown supermarket and The Warehouse though the risk to staff and other shoppers is considered low.
There were two new coronavirus cases reported in New Zealand on Sunday - one a health worker in Auckland's quarantine facility and the other an overseas returnee in managed isolation.
Sunday marked the first time in a month there were no reported cases linked to the Auckland cluster.