Coronavirus: Northland residents on high alert following confirmed community case

Northlanders are on high alert tonight with news there's a case of COVID-19 in their community.

It's been revealed the woman visited 30 different locations in the region, leaving residents desperate to know where they are.

The Powell family tuned into the 4pm press conference on Sunday, concerned about what a COVID-19 case in the Northland community might mean for them.

"I think it means a lot of us have to worry about where we have been," Northland resident Rochelle Powell said.

"Northland is huge. They need to localise an area, let us know exactly where this area is."

The Ministry of Health says the infected woman visited 30 different locations while in the region.

Northland's been a popular destination this summer with holidaymakers flocking to beachside hotspots.

Whangārei District Mayor Sheryl Mai says it's the worst news.

"I fear for things like the business community, who will all be thinking 'oh no, does this mean a new alert level?'

"My concern is for everybody to be safe and well, but also for our economy to still continue to thrive as it has been."

Professor Shaun Hendy says it's possible the woman had a long incubation period, or that she picked the virus up in the MIQ facility.

He says every precaution needs to be taken.

"Either way I think we should assume that's since she's been out that she's been symptomatic and may have exposed other people."

Epidemiologist Michael Baker says Sunday's news is a wake-up call and that the risk of a border incursion is bigger than ever before.

"The countries where we receive most of our travellers from going to MIQ, are countries where the pandemic is unfortunately still out of control."

The Government recently announced it was extending the list of countries where pre-departure testing is required.

Dr Baker says tougher restrictions should be considered for hotspots like the UK and the US.

"We could require a brief period of self-quarantine at an airport in their source country and potentially a rapid test before the person gets on a flight, as well as the PCR test three days beforehand," Dr Baker said.

"There's a range of things we could do."

New Zealand's first community case in nearly 70 days, keeping Northlanders on high alert.