Aucklanders not heeding Govt’s call to ramp up testing despite increasing Covid-19 cases

There were no queues today at new pop-up testing stations across Auckland, prompting worries people aren’t heeding the Government's call to ramp up testing. 

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Numbers of people heading to pop-up testing stations across the city have decreased since last week. Source: 1 NEWS

The Government is calling for a boost in testing to 7000 a day, and is asking asymptomatic people to get tested. 

“We are looking this week to do testing of asymptomatic people as part of surveillance just to try and ring-fence the extent of this outbreak, particularly in the Auckland region,” Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said. 

But Pauline Fuimaono-Sanders, a nurse and testing centre operations lead, said “we just need to get the comms out nice and wide so we can have people coming through”. 

Staff at her new pop-up station in Ranui said they expected demand to increase over the next few days once the community finds out they are able to get tested.

Three new cases of Covid-19 community transmission in New Zealand today

It comes as the Ministry of Health reported three new cases of community transmission, and a new “mini cluster" was identified in Mt Roskill, Auckland, where it's not clear at present if or how it is linked to the wider Auckland outbreak.

New 'mini cluster' of Covid-19 cases at Mt Roskill church under investigation

Locals told 1 NEWS large numbers of people attended the Mount Roskill Evangelical Fellowship church, where five cases had been linked. They estimated about 400 people attended services over the weekend.

Meanwhile, from Monday, health authorities are making masks mandatory on public transport anytime the country is in Level 2 or above in a bid to stop the cluster spreading further. 

QR codes for the NZ COVID Tracer app will also be mandatory on all bus, train, ferry, ride-share vehicles and taxis from 11.59pm on September 3.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins also assured people they shouldn’t be hesitant to get a test because of their immigration status.

"If people are here on an expired visa and they go and get a test we will not join those two dots together,” he said.

"Regardless of your personal circumstances, if you're asked to get a test or you're in that group that's at greater risk, please get the test. We won't use that information to punish you in some other way."

Regardless, the Prime Minister remains confident for the meantime that things are on track for Auckland’s move to Alert Level 2 on Monday.

However, she warned "tails will be long" when it came to cases in the Auckland cluster.