Coronavirus: Christchurch locals 'worried', 'gutted' over city's new COVID cases

The threat of Delta potentially spreading in Christchurch has left locals "worried" and "gutted".

Two COVID-19 cases were reported in the Garden City on Thursday. Both are unvaccinated and didn't use the COVID Tracer app. 

The pair are both from the same household in the suburb of Bishopdale, and one of them recently spent five days in Auckland to provide childcare. 

They have both since been moved to a quarantine facility.

Locals are on high alert.

"I personally get the heebie-jeebies when we get into this situation. I now take a lot of vitamin C and herbs," one person tells Newshub.

"I am gutted. Completely and utterly gutted," another says.

"Not very happy. It's worrying but inevitable it was going to come," a third says.

The woman produced negative COVID-19 tests before leaving Christchurch and again before returning.

The second case works as a truck driver and the company they work for is helping track where they travelled while infectious.

There are so far 13 locations of interest in Christchurch, from supermarkets to takeaway shops.

Christchurch is staying in alert level 2 for now, but the threat of a snap level 3 lockdown hasn't completely gone away as testing ramps up.

Frustration is building among business owners who think back to last year's lockdown as they potentially face another. 

"It's so much better for all the businesses and tenants in the city if we continue to trade, but if level 3 happens, level 3 happens," says Nicki Carter from The Crossing.

In either panic or preparation, many people stocked up at the supermarket.

"I saw the news and thought if I don't go now, I'm not going later," one says.

Reassuringly, Bishopdale has high vaccination rates, with 90 percent having had their first dose and 70 percent both doses.

But it's a wake-up call for eastern Christchurch where several suburbs are among the least vaccinated in the Garden City. In Aranui, just 68 percent of people have had their first dose. 

Nationally, Canterbury District Health Board (DHB) is further from the 90 percent target than any other - more than 101,000 doses short.

But 89 percent have had their first dose, bringing them closer to the target.

The threat of community cases could also provide the four other South Island DHBs a much-needed boost, none of which have reached a 90 percent rate for first doses.