Northland has its first confirmed case of coronavirus - a 23-year-old who returned home from overseas earlier this week.
He was among eight new cases confirmed by the Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield yesterday, taking the total number of cases in New Zealand to 28 so far.
The Northlander flew from Paris to Abu Dhabi on Etihad flight EY38, then on to Sydney on flight EY450, and the final leg of his journey to Auckland on Monday was on Virgin Australia flight V0141.
He and six others are in self-isolation while the eighth patient has been admitted to Dunedin Hospital upon medical advice.
As the number of Covid-19 cases rise, many ticketed and non-ticketed public events are either cancelled or postponed such as Anzac Day commemorations on April 25 and the annual Poppy Day appeal.
Also yesterday the government closed the borders to everybody except New Zealand citizens or residents.
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The Returned Services Association has cancelled Anzac Day commemorations throughout the country— the first time in more than 100 years— and postponed the Poppy Day Appeal— the first time since 1922.
The move comes after the government yesterday banned gatherings of more than 100 people and the fact that the elderly are more vulnerable to flu-like illnesses such as coronavirus and flu.
This year's Anzac service at Gallipoli in Turkey has also been called off.
"It's a bit disappointing but then again, we must look after the health of the public in general. A lot of elderly people come to the Anzac Day services and they are the most vulnerable," Whangārei RSA president Kevin Peachey said.
He said discussions were under way to see if a few RSAs in Northland could combine for a commemoration on Armistice Day on November 11.
On Anzac Day next month, he said a car-load of war veterans may go to the Cenotaph at Laurie Hall Park in Whangārei for a low-key commemoration.
Peachey urged people to still donate to the Poppy Day appeal by popping in to the RSA offices on Rust Av.
Last year's collection at Whangārei RSA of about $18,000 was down from $30,000 in 2018.
Northland District Health Board chief executive Dr Nick Chamberlain has praised the 24-year-old man who tested positive for Covid-19, saying his actions protected others from getting sick.
After becoming ill, the man self-isolated himself at home before contacting his general practice.
The general practice followed the correct contact and testing procedures, he said, to ensure no one was at risk of transmission.
He has not had any contact with any hospitals, accident and medical or emergency departments in Northland.
"After being advised of the positive test result, the man has been in full isolation and is being visited daily by a public health nurse who is monitoring his health and wellbeing.
This young man's actions to protect others are greatly appreciated."
Northland DHB would not say where in Northland the man is being self-isolated.
Dr Chamberlain said it was incredibly brave and dedicated of Northland DHB staff and those working in the general practice and out in the community who have stepped up in such uncertain times.
The eight new cases Ministry of Health has identified all relate to overseas travel and work is ongoing to identify any close contacts.
Between 500 and 600 tests are now being done each day throughout New Zealand on those that have returned to the country as well as on people who have had close contact with Covid-19 patients.
Northland DHB is, from this morning, starting Covid-19 testing stations across the region for Northlanders with symptoms of Covid-19 and who have travelled overseas in the last two weeks or think they have been exposed to the disease.
Meanwhile, Whangārei District Councillors separated their desks to limit interaction during an emergency council meeting yesterday. The meeting was held to consider including new provision and council standing orders to provide for councillors to attend meetings by audio or audiovisual link.
They resolved that those councillors who could not make it to the meetings could participate by an audiovisual link provided a quorum of seven was present in the council chamber.
WDC is also investigating the potential of livestreaming its public meetings.
Both Whangarei and the Kaipara district councils are urging their ratepayers to conduct business with their councils online rather than face to face.
They are implementing new health and safety procedures and have asked people not to be offended if staff did not shake hands, or stood a little further away than normal.
"Well or unwell, there are many not-in-person ways to take payments or applications or seek advice and we can also make arrangements to delay payment deadlines. All people have to do is call us," WDC chief executive Rob Forlong said.
The Far North District Council did not respond to requests for comment yesterday about its Covid-19 precautions.