At least two Hamilton testing sites have reached their capacity for the day so people are being redirected to other centres or asked to return tomorrow.
Two new Covid cases were reported in Raglan and Hamilton this morning, prompting the Government’s snap decision to move both places along with Huntly, Te Kauwhata, and Ngāruawāhia to alert level 3 for five days from 11.59pm tonight.
Locals in Hamilton headed out to get tested after the news. People were being turned away at both the community testing centre at Founders Theatre car park and the pop-up test site at Claudelands Event Centre when the Herald visited just after 4pm today.
The Waikato DHB says they were asking people not to join the queue at the time because they were not likely to be swabbed tonight.
Contacts test negative
In a separate update, the Ministry of Health said that all initial tests from household members of Covid-19 cases in Hamilton East and Palmerston North have this afternoon returned negative results.
“Results were received for two household members of the Auckland-based truck driver who is isolating in Palmerston North, and eight household members from the case in Hamilton East.
The results of three household members of the Raglan case, who have now all been moved to an Auckland quarantine facility, are expected back later tonight and will be announced tomorrow.”
People in Hamilton who urgently need a swab tonight can call the Victoria Clinic (open till 8pm) on Anglesea St for a booking, a DHB spokesperson said.
Testing facilities will have extended hours from tomorrow, said the spokesperson.
Claudelands will be open from 8am to 8pm, and the Founders Theatre from 8am to 4.30pm.
The DHB is asking everyone who is symptomatic to get a test, and to follow guidance about each location of interest listed on the Health Ministry website.
“People who don’t meet the criteria, who aren’t symptomatic or have guidance to seek a test should call Healthline or their GP before they get a test.”
“That would ensure we have rapid availability for those priority individuals we really want to target.”
Hamilton, Raglan and several other Waikato towns will move to alert level 3 from 11.59pm tonight after the discovery of two Delta cases, and the spread of the virus beyond Auckland’s borders.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the alert-level elevation at a hastily arranged 1pm press conference following the discovery of the two Waikato cases – in Raglan and Hamilton East. Both people are known to each other but there is yet to be an established link to the Auckland outbreak.
As 33 new cases in total were announced today, Ardern said level 3 would be imposed from 11.59pm in Raglan, Te Kauwhata, Ngāruawāhia, Hamilton city and Huntly. The alert level would be reviewed in five days.
Hamilton will have spot checks around the boundary areas but it wouldn’t be like Auckland’s hard boundary for practical reasons, said Ardern. There were too many feeder roads into the Hamilton area, she said.
Ardern asked people to comply with the restrictions and work from home if they could.
The level-3 restrictions will apply for an initial five days while wide contact tracing, testing and wastewater testing takes place. Anyone with symptoms should get tested.
Raglan locals flocked to testing and vaccination centre's
Despite today’s announcement Raglan locals have flocked to the local mobile vaccination centre.
Raglan ward councillor Lisa Thomson, has been down at the local vaccination centre managing traffic and said it has been a great turnout.
“We know our community and the people coming in we are able to welcome them, make them feel comfortable and also really thank them for coming down to get vaccinated.”
Thomson said there has also been an “amazing turnout” at local pop-up testing station.
“I just want to support my community to feel okay about coming here and being vaccinated because some people are scared,” she said.
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