Hawke's Bay leaders remain lukewarm at the thought of bringing the region out of lockdown next week, despite two days in a row with no new Covid-19 cases.
Hawke's Bay District Health Board is taking nothing for granted either, saying more testing is needed to see what the true presence of the virus in the region is.
On Monday the government is due to announce plans for what happens after the four-week period of Alert Level 4 lockdown finishes on Thursday.
There have been no new Covid-19 cases reported in Hawke's Bay for two straight days, but Central Hawke's Bay Mayor Alex Walker said she did not want to be "too hasty".
"I do not want to waste the significant time, effort and costs that our communities have put into Level 4 lockdown by being too hasty in lifting restrictions," he said.
"We have many parts of our region who are at high-risk and we all need to take responsibility for keeping them safe. Even in Central Hawke's Bay where we have had no confirmed or probable cases confirmed, we need to play our part."
Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the region has seen "good results" during the current lockdown alert level, which had been a challenging time.
There were six new confirmed cases and 14 new probable cases around the country on Wednesday, bringing New Zealand's total to 1386.
Hawke's Bay District Health Board Medical Officer of Health Nick Jones said there had been 2276 people swabbed across Hawke's Bay to date.
Jones said whilst no new cases had been reported in the region for two consecutive days, more referrals for Covid-19 testing by frontline health professionals were needed in order to gain a true picture of the disease in the region.
"We need to make the most of this to detect all possible cases and to ensure there is no community transmission before lifting level 4 restrictions," he said.
"I am sending an updated advisory to all frontline healthcare workers across the region to step up their testing regimes and refer anyone showing symptoms, even mild, to community-based assessment centres for testing."
While anyone with symptoms included in the current case definition should be tested, Jones said it was particularly important for essential service workers to be tested if feeling unwell, given they had spent more time out of their bubble during the Level 4 lockdown period.
"I urge anyone feeling unwell to take their symptoms, even if mild, seriously," he said. "We must take advantage of this Level 4 lockdown period to get the most accurate picture as we can of this disease in our region in order to contain it and stop any spread."
Community-based assessment centres, where people are referred for testing, are operating in Hastings, Napier, Wairoa and Central Hawke's Bay.
The last confirmed case, on Monday, a woman in her 40s, was a Hawke's Bay District Health Board healthcare worker, who had worked for a short time at Gladys Mary Care Home within its dementia group of residents already placed in isolation away from others.
Their case increased the Ruby Princess cluster number to 19 on Wednesday.
Napier MP Stuart Nash said the decision to extend or reduce the lockdown will use the latest health data and specialist advice.
"Our aim is to eliminate Covid-19 and then begin to open up our country and economy in a way that mitigates the risks of further outbreaks," he said.
"We have certainly turned a corner in terms of getting on top of the virus. However we can't squander a good halftime lead by getting complacent."
Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise said if the government extends Alert Level 4, "then that is what we must do, to protect lives."
• Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory websiteHawke's Bay Regional Council Chair Rex Graham said he does not want the lockdown lifted too early.
"While I am sure we would all love to get back to some form of normality, I am also sure no one wants this lockdown lifted too early," he said.
"I am confident in the ability of the experts supporting the Government in making a decision on when to move to Alert Level 3 and beyond."