Locals around Taranaki are on edge after it was revealed two confirmed Covid-19 community cases visited New Plymouth over Waitangi weekend, and some are unhappy that the region has remained at alert level 2.
The Ministry of Health has confirmed that the positive cases visited nine locations in the city last weekend including Te Rewarewa Bridge, Sumela Kebab, Amber Court Hotel, Pukekura Park, Egmont National Park, Cycle Inn, Puke Ariki Library and Museum, Pizza Hut and Back Beach.
Around the city on Sunday night, supermarket carparks were full as residents stocked up on essentials.
Outside Pak'nSave, one local who asked not to be named said that they decided to come down to the supermarket to ensure they had enough supplies in case of another lockdown.
"Me and my husband thought we better stock up on flour and yeast and things. We got caught out last time," the woman said.
"We probably should really be in level 3. The cases have been all over the city."
Some locations of interest still open
Meanwhile, Puke Ariki Library and Museum remained open on Sunday, with staff urging visitors to follow government advice.
"We are currently open as normal here but we encourage people to sanitise and scan in when they enter," a staff member at the Puke Ariki Museum told the Herald, prior to the museum's confirmation as a possible exposure location.
The museum confirmed at the time that they had not yet been contacted by the Ministry of Health and were awaiting the confirmed locations the positive cases visited.
"We'll wait and see what we're told and then act on that."
Also open was Pizza Hut New Plymouth, which chose to remain open despite being visited by a positive case.
The manager at the store said at 6pm he had not yet been provided with any information, and could not say if any staff who were working on February 8 were currently working at the store at the time of the Herald's visit.
He did confirm however that the store's owner was contacted by the Ministry of Health.
At the 35-unit Amber Court Motel in New Plymouth, two cleaners have been told to have a Covid test at Taranaki Base Hospital after two of the Covid cases, a mother and a daughter stayed at the motel for two nights between February 6 and February 8.
The manager, who only wanted to be known as Raewyn, said she was informed about the motel being a location of interest by the Taranaki District Health Board.
Since the name of the motel had been listed as location of interest for the latest cases, the phone hasn't stopped from every Tom, Dick and Harry who has stayed here since February 6, she said.
Raewyn said she had been given information about cleaning the motel room where the pair stayed, but said the motel had already been deep cleaning the units after guests left as a matter of practice for some time.
She said two cleaners who had contact with the unit had been advised to get a test and would not be returning to work until February 24.
Raewyn said she would not be tested, saying she was behind a glass barrier and more than 1m away when she checked the pair in and out of the motel.
Asked how she felt about the situation, Raewyn said: "It's going to happen no matter where you go. I did a tour of the South Island for 14 days with my friend. It was something we were aware of. It's something we now have to live with."
MP and locals respond
Speaking to the Herald around 5pm, New Plymouth MP Glen Bennett said that he was concerned about today's developments and was hoping for the best.
"I'm concerned, but also optimistic that our community is doing the right thing," the first-term MP said.
"If they were contagious, I'm confident we will stomp it out as quick as we can. We don't want to be a New Plymouth cluster or a Taranaki cluster."
Bennett urged local residents to follow the Government's Covid-19 advice and to remain vigilant.
"My advice is to follow the Government's guidance. Wash your hands, it's one of the most important things you do."
"If you're unwell or unsure, just stay home."
On Devon St in the city's CBD, most locals the Herald spoke to said they were concerned with the news.
After the announcement the country was moving alert levels, New Plymouth couple Julia and Andrew Kuriger said that they were confident.
"I guess it's how we've stayed safe. We've got friends in the UK - it's dismal over there. We forget how good we've got it," Andrew said.
"I think we've got a good track record. If you look at the world, things have gone pretty well here," partner Julia agreed.
Another resident, who did not want to be named, said that she was worried there would be a resurgence and is waiting to find out what strain the infected patients contracted.
"My husband and I are just waiting and hoping it doesn't become anything too big, especially if it's one of these new strains."
"But it's scary to see, especially so close to home."