Northland's disabled community fear they may become isolated by the Government's technology-focused Omicron response plan.
As explained by the Advocate, when Omicron starts spreading there will be more reliance on text messaging and online tools.
This intensifies in phase 3 when contact tracing is overwhelmed, as cases can notify contacts themselves using an online tool.
The move to a more independent and technology-heavy approach has the Northland disabled community questioning how accessible the system will be for them.
Disability Advisory Group founder Glen McMillan said the risk of digital exclusion was particularly high in the region due to the limiting circumstances many Northlanders faced.
"Our Northland disabled community is mostly Māori and many are poor or living in remote communities."
However, the Government assured there would be support for "members of our community who are not digitally enabled" as well as "clinical care and welfare support".
But McMillan indicated there had been unanswered issues of accessibility and Covid before the arrival of Omicron.
He said the promised support to replace unvaccinated staff had "never been successfully implemented".
"Caregiving and support services have collapsed for many disabled due to the high number of people not wanting to be vaccinated. Many disabled people, including me, lost our support workers.
"Many disabled are likely to become housebound if Omicron causes the support worker system to collapse further than it already has."
Jonny Wilkinson, chief executive of the Tiaho Trust, which provides services and advocacy for disabled Northlanders, said there was the "potential for further isolation of an already isolated cohort" due to the digital divide being mixed with the Omicron response plan.
He said Northland has a "relatively low" amount of connectivity related to data and broadband - let alone whether people have the technological capability or knowledge of digital devices.
"The disabled community, the older community, the rural community, I think they will be impacted through the digital divide. Three different cohorts."
Wilkinson thought the system sounded "a bit automated" and feared important messages would get missed by the most vulnerable people.
"Is there enough confirmation mechanisms involved to know that they [disabled people] are going to get the message and they can respond appropriately?"