COVID-19: New Plymouth residents anxiously waiting for test results

Hundreds of New Plymouth residents have been queuing at the COVID-19 testing station on Monday.

Two people who were confirmed positive for COVID-19 on Sunday had visited the tourist hot spots in the region while they may have been developing symptoms, the Ministry of Health reported.

"I've been constantly coughing in a way," a New Plymouth resident told Newshub.

"I was at one of the places of interests," another said.

Those places of interest - at least 10 locations were visited by two of Auckland's positive cases during Waitangi weekend.

Government advice is to get tested only if you were there at the same time or have symptoms - but not everyone has listened to that advice.

"We are just scared about it," one person said.

Monday's wait has left Taranaki port worker Brett Jacobsen frustrated. 

He believes Taranaki should be placed in alert level 3.

"I feel it should be the same as Auckland - you know? They've come from there down to here," he told Newshub.

New Plymouth mayor Neil Holdom says placing cities under alert levels is a decision for the government.

"That's a decision for the government, they are the best in the world at dealing with this," he said.

Holdom says there are six testing stations set up across Taranaki, with two in New Plymouth and that the DHB can ramp up it's response if needed. 

"Obviously it's not ideal but the point is - it's day one and we have plenty of capability."

Epidemiologist Michael Baker believes Taranaki doesn't need to move alert levels just yet.

"I'm much less worried about outside Auckland because we actually know the movement partners of these cases, we've got a starting point for contact tracing."

That contact tracing is well underway at the Amber Court Motel, where the pair stayed.

"They were just normal guests checking in," Amber Court Motel staff told Newshub.

The COVID cases were two of 155 guests that weekend - five of the motel's seven staff are being tested and some of them cleaned the family's motel room.

The positive cases also visited the Cycle Inn between 9:30 and 11am on the morning of February 8th.

Cycle Inn's manager Mark Bradshaw has been fielding calls from worried customers today. 

"Oh it was a shock," he told Newshub.

Three staff there have also been tested. 

And like many in Taranaki tonight - they're all anxiously awaiting their results at home.