No locations of interest in the Bay of Plenty have been published online, despite there being 1892 active Covid cases in the region.
University of Auckland research fellow Dr Andrew Chen says that reflects the "clear shift in strategy" which sees most district health boards in New Zealand only publishing "the highest-risk locations of interest".
As of yesterday there were 1412 active cases in the Bay of Plenty DHB area and 480 in Lakes, Toi Te Ora Public Health data showed.
However, there were no locations of interest in either region on the Ministry of Health website, which dated back to February 20.
A Ministry of Health spokesperson said locations of interest were no longer being published under phase three.
"Phase 3 will instead see a shift in focus to case management. It's important to reiterate case investigations will still be focused on high-risk exposures and household contacts.
"Staff at our providers will instead focus their attention on these duties."
On Thursday, before the move to phase 3 had been announced, University of Auckland research fellow Dr Andrew Chen said there had been "a clear shift in strategy".
If every location of interest was published, most people would stop looking, he said.
"People just aren't going to go through thousands of locations of interest every day to see which ones match with theirs.
"It's about sort of filtering that information to make sure only the most important information gets through and is processed by people."
Acknowledging he was not a public health official, Chen defined a "highest-risk location" as places where there had been a lot of people in close proximity for a long period of time.
These were places such as large events, weddings and flights, he said.
"Contrary to people's expectations, supermarkets ... actually aren't a huge risk."
As New Zealand moved through the Omicron wave, the approach was shifting from "stamping out pockets of cases" to "giving people the tools to manage this the best they can", he said.
"We're moving from having a centralised health resource ... towards a more decentralised, community-led approach where if you do get sick you'll probably have to manage it yourself in your own home rather than go to a managed isolation facility."
Chen has been analysing the Government's Covid-19 app and contact tracing protocols since the beginning of the pandemic.
He said scanning in was useful because those who became sick could provide a list of where they had been to contact tracers.
"They're still analysing that data ... if they see that a lot of people have been to that location and are getting sick, that may cause them to review that a little bit more closely and think about whether or not [that] should be a high-risk location of interest.
"Once we get to the other side of this Omicron wave ... we're going to get back to this position where we want to stamp out pockets of cases.
"We're going to want to make sure that the tail end of this wave goes away as quickly as possible.
"At that point, it'll be really important for people to scan in again and it's a lot easier for people to maintain a habit than to stop a habit and pick it up again."
Before the move to phase 3 was announced on Thursday, Toi Te Ora Public Health medical officer of health Dr Neil De Wet said as Covid case numbers had "rapidly increased" the organisation had transitioned away from the "previous elimination and stamp it our approaches".
"This means the way in which we follow up cases and identify contacts has been changing.
"It's important to note that Covid-19 is increasingly widespread in our communities.
"Vaccination is the best protection. It's more important than ever to get your booster if you haven't yet received it."