Whangārei residents 'relieved' second traveller to Northland found by police, urge her to cooperate

The mayor of Whangārei says residents are breathing a "sigh of relief" after the woman who travelled through Northland with a positive COVID-19 case was found by police, and is urging the woman to cooperate with authorities.

Police confirmed on Monday night the woman, who had been on the run, was found at a property in west Auckland.

"The woman has been taken into custody under section 70 of the Health Act and will be transported to an MIQ facility," a spokesperson said.

"Police are continuing to investigate this matter and will be following up with this individual."

Whangārei's mayor Sheryl Mai told Newshub on Tuesday residents are relieved the woman has been found.

"Everybody breathed a sigh of relief and went 'phew she's found'," she said.

Mai said it's imperative the woman now cooperates with health authorities to determine the places she had been while in the region.

"I think all of New Zealand needs to look at this and go 'how can we accept this poor behaviour?' 

"These people have put all of us at risk and it seems really unfair that we are all having the impact of having to work from home or not working at all - in some cases- and some businesses are closed. It seems totally unfair that they have been uncooperative."

She said the community is keen to know of their locations of interest so residents can get tested.

The region has been in a snap level 3 lockdown after it was confirmed the two women travelled extensively through Northland before one tested positive.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed on Monday that Northland will stay in level 3 until at least 11:59pm on Thursday.

"From my understanding there were a couple of reasons [why the area was put into alert level 3]," Mai said. 

"Firstly, we don't know where they have been and also that our testing rates haven't given any conclusive outcome yet to be able to drop us down the alert level. We need more testing in the community to check if we have any undetected community spread."

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield told The AM Show the woman had been symptomatic for COVID-19 when she was apprehended on Monday night.

However, he was unable to shed any more light on the movements of the woman in Northland.

"Look, the only information I have was what was in the police statement last night," he said.

"Our team in Auckland will be trying to make contact with and talk with her this morning just to see what additional information we can get about the movements when they were in Northland."

The only locations Dr Bloomfield was aware the women had visited were the ones already listed on the Ministry of Health's website identified mostly through CCTV footage.

"There are several locations of interest in Northland that have already been on the Ministry website for a few days but they are just a couple of accommodation facilities, and I think a petrol station or two," he said. 

"What we really want to do is find out the people that they have been in contact with so we can follow up and test those people, that's the information we really want to get."