Northland residents on edge as MoH reveals 30 locations woman with COVID-19 visited

Northland residents are on high alert on Monday morning after the Ministry of Health released a list of 30 locations that were visited by a confirmed case of COVID-19. 

The 56-year-old woman, who left Auckland's Pullman Hotel MIQ facility on January 13, later developed symptoms and returned a positive test.

The woman visited several shops and cafes in the Northland region before testing positive. 

Newshub reporter Madison Reidy said locals are on edge as they wait for more information. 

"We know that she visited 30 locations so there probably will be some panic among the people, in this area and as far south as Helensville near Auckland, who did visit those places.

"I would imagine they are feeling a bit apprehensive this morning and they should be self-isolated as we speak and are going to get a test today."

She said there will be extra popup testing facilities in the area to meet any added demand.

The news came as a shock for the businesses the woman visited, however, Reidy said as far as she is aware none of them have been asked to close as a precaution.

She said any staff members or customers who were at the store at the same time as the woman should be isolating and getting tested.

"I'm not aware of any of those places being told to stay closed today obviously the concern would be those staff members or any customers who visited those retail stores… in those areas at the same as this woman.

"Hopefully people and staff were scanned in and knew the time they were there so they can take those health guidelines seriously." 

Thankfully the woman was a "dream COVID case", Reidy said. 

"She was absolutely the poster child for what every New Zealander should be doing. She had two negative tests, came out of isolation after doing her 14 days and I wonder how many people would actually be that vigilant with logging their movements.

"She really, really did a good job and I am sure the country is thanking her this morning, as well as the health officials." 

Despite the woman's vigilance, Whangārei District Mayor Sheryl Mai said the news is still concerning for local businesses 

"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."

At a press conference on Sunday COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said it is "so premature" to speculate about any alert level changes. 

Epidemiologist Michael Baker said the new case 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."

Full list of locations: 

  • FreshChoice Ruakaka - January 14 - 3.03pm-4.33pm
  • Aesthetic Clothing Store - January 15 - 8.48am-9.53am
  • Noel Leeming Whangarei - January 15 - 9.02am-10.12am
  • Bendon Whangarei - January 15 - 9.03am-10.30am
  • The Warehouse Whangarei - January 15 - 9.28am-10.58am
  • Carpet Court Whangārei - January 15 - 10:00am and 11.20am
  • Flaming Fires - January 15 - 10.24am-11.34am
  • Farmers Whangārei - January 15 - 11.10am and 12.15pm.
  • Whangarei and Kamo Testing Stations - January 15 - 10.40am-11.45am
  • Bed Bath and Beyond Whangarei - January 15 - 10.54am-12.04pm
  • Fat Camel Cafe - January 15 - 11.34am-1.34pm
  • Parua Bay Tavern - January 15 - 3.20pm-5.20pm
  • Bream Bay Butchers Ruakaka - January 16 - 11.02am-12.07pm
  • Ruakaka General Store - January 16 - 11.08am-12.10pm
  • FreshChoice Ruakaka - January 16 - 11.10am-12.15pm
  • Urban Remedy Cafe - January 17 - 8.17am-9.47am
  • Joseph Taylor Homewares - January 17 - 2.08pm-3.18pm
  • Eutopia Cafe - January 18 - 8.55am-10.55am
  • Maungaturoto 2nd hand shop - January 18 - 10.06am-11.36am
  • Maungaturoto FourSquare - January 18 - 10.44am-11.49am
  • White Rock Gallery - January 18 - 11.15am-12.24pm
  • The Kauri Museum - January 18 - 11.21am-3.21pm
  • Gumdiggers Cafe Matakohe - January 18 - 12:39 pm - 2:39 pm
  • The Dune Restaurant & Bar - 18 January - 4.47pm-7.17pm
  • Kaipara Coast Plant Centre & Sculpture Gardens - January 19 - 11.04am-1.04pm
  • The Ville Turkish Cafe Helensville - January 19 - 1.08pm-2.38pm
  • Countdown Helensville - January 19 - 1.46pm-3.01pm
  • Super Liquor Helensville - January 19 - 2.03pm-3.08pm
  • South Head General Store - January 19 - 2.44pm-3.49pm
  • Macnut Cafe Helensville - January 21 - 10.20am-11.50am
  • Orrs Unichem Pharmacy Ruakaka - January 22 - 11.21am-12.26pm