An iwi-led border control group says it hasn't been able to rule out or confirm reports that a Covid-positive case's travel partner stayed at a Far North bay.
Revelations that an Auckland woman tested positive for the virus after visiting Whangārei and the Mid North from October 2 to 5 plunged Northland into a snap level 3 lockdown from 11.59pm on Friday.
Police said the woman had used a false exemption to cross the border. She was now in a quarantine facility in Auckland.
The movements and current location of her companion, who could be infected given that they travelled together for several days, remain unclear.
On Sunday the Advocate revealed that she had made phone contact with police but they had not located her yet.
Reports that she had been at Wainui, on the east coast north of Matauri Bay, led Tai Tokerau Border Control to carry out enquiries in the area and remind local residents of the need to take Covid precautions.
Dannie Samuels-Thomas, Matauri Bay representative for Tai Tokerau Border Control, said the group took the reports seriously.
''We spent a lot of time and energy on Sunday trying to get to the bottom of it."
Police had advised the group that she had since returned to the Auckland region.
Border control volunteers had made sure Wainui residents were aware of the risk and were staying safe.
''It wasn't to create panic, it was just to remind them to be more vigilant and encourage them to look after themselves a bit better. In a small community you do get pretty comfortable, everyone is like your neighbour.''
The lack of sightings was reassuring, Samuels-Thomas said.
''We haven't found any person in the community that she's been with. So she's parked up and been hiding out, if she was here. I'd rather be wrong than too late.''
The reports concerned the group because Wainui was a small, close-knit community with only one shop in the area that everyone used.
A police spokesman said he could not go into specifics — including whether police had also followed up reports that the travel companion had been in Wainui — but said they were continuing to work hard to locate the woman.
''We are making a number of enquiries. There are obvious challenges when an individual does not want to be co-operative with authorities,'' he said.
Police would continue to work with the Ministry of Health, which was leading the response to the Northland case.
Meanwhile, Tai Tokerau Border Control is maintaining a checkpoint at the top of Matauri Bay Hill as long as Northland remains at level 3.
It's a change from the last lockdown, when there was no physical checkpoint, just regular patrols of the beachfront car park.
Samuels-Thomas said hapū volunteers were joined by police officers any time they were available, and they were always nearby if needed.
Saturday was ''pretty trying'', with 59 visitor vehicles turned away.
Level 3 rules allow beach visits and most forms of water recreation but it must be at the person's local beach.
Some were just trying their luck but others appeared to have been seeking an argument or wanted to promote conspiracy theories, she said.
It was the wish of hapū to keep visitors out during levels 3 and 4 to keep kaumātua and kuia safe.
The road to the beach crossed private land.
''The people who own the land that visitors have to cross to reach the beach have said no. They wouldn't like trespassers on their own land.''
By Sunday the number of vehicles turned away had dropped to just four at Matauri Bay and 10 at Te Ngaere, the next bay to the north.
That showed the message about staying local was getting through, she said.
Tai Tokerau Border Control was set up last year by former MP Hone Harawira amid concerns that police and health authorities were not doing enough to stop potentially infected people travelling into and around Northland.