Coronavirus: Hordes of Raglan residents turn up for testing but locals fear COVID's spread beyond Waikato

Thousands of people have turned out for COVID-19 testing in Waikato after a mechanic from Raglan was confirmed as positive.

That person's three household contacts are also now positive and have been moved to managed isolation. Another known contact of this person from Hamilton remains in Waikato Hospital.

The queue for testing in Raglan stretched one-and-a-half kilometres and was two hours long.

"We started at 10am and we just haven't stopped. Same thing last night - we didn't get home until about 10pm," says nurse Awhina Uruamo.

Locals in the testing queue were showing up, even if they had the mildest of symptoms.

"Actually I've got a headache and cough so come down to get tested," one said.

"I think you're stupid if you don't get tested. Honestly just go out and get it done, it's not the world's hardest thing, you know," another said.

Three locations of interest that the town's positive case visited last Friday and Saturday have now undergone a deep clean: SuperValue, BP and Aroha Sushi.

"That is scary once it hits your hometown. It's a reality check for us all that you've just got to hunker down," one local says.

But other locals fear COVID-19 has spread beyond Waikato after hordes of day-trippers and holidaymakers visited the surf town at the weekend.

"It probably has gone well beyond Raglan with the amount of traffic leaving yesterday," says Raglan Community Board member Chris Rayner. "It could be very much around the North Island, especially Taranaki and Bay of Plenty."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern defended her soft boundary approach on Monday, instead trusting much of Waikato not to cross over into level 2.

"We are undertaking wide surveillance testing, undertaking contact tracing, but it's too soon to make an assumption that necessarily we've got much wider community transmission," she said.

Changing attitudes to vaccination too is an issue for some in Raglan. While most people were motivated to get out and get tested on Monday, Newshub understands from some of the locals there is a pocket who are anti-vax here. Just 39 percent of the town's 3500 people have had both shots.

"Plenty of people with alternative views but they are not the majority," Rayner says.

Genome sequencing has now linked Waikato's cases to the Auckland outbreak, so at least they know where it came from - question is, where's it gone now?