Panicked Aucklanders flood supermarkets in wake of new COVID-19 community case

Panicked Aucklanders are rushing to supermarkets to stock up in light of a new case of COVID-19 being found in the community.

Just hours after the Ministry of Health announced the new case, queues formed outside the Mount Eden Countdown. 

One shopper told Newshub it is busier now and the queue is longer than it was when Auckland was in lockdown.

"It only took an hour to get this busy," he says. "It's so busy."

Auckland resident Greta Wilkins told Newshub the supermarket was "pumping"

Lines outside of Mt Eden Countdown.
Lines outside of Mt Eden Countdown. Photo credit: Marty Clark-Dow
More lines outside a different Countdown.
More lines outside a different Countdown. Photo credit: Newshub

"When I got here there were already 40, 50 people in line..they had someone at the door letting someone in every few minutes."

Wilkins says shoppers have their trolleys "piled high", even though shops will remain open if the country goes into lockdown.

"Looks like people have just gone back to their old ways."

Despite the crowding, Wilkins says there were not many people socially distancing, and not many wearing masks.

Photos and videos supplied to Newshub confirm the majority of shoppers were not wearing masks - despite the Ministry of Health and other experts saying it's crucial people use them to protect themselves.

Epidemiologist Michael Baker told Newshub it's safe to assume the new case is the Delta variant, which can spread via aerosol - meaning virus particles can travel long distances, and infect people without needing droplets.

He says mask use is the best way to protect oneself from the Delta variant - and the Ministry of Health agrees.

In a statement on Monday the Ministry urged all Aucklanders to wear a mask indoors where they cannot socially distance and reminded them of the requirement to mask up when taking public transport. 

Follow Newshub's live updates of the developing COVID-19 situation here.