Nervous Papatoetoe High School students have been lining up in big numbers to get tested, saying they want to do their bit to stop Covid-19 getting into the community.
They were among more than 2000 people who flocked to testing stations today following news three people have tested positive for Covid-19, including a student at the South Auckland school.
The rush resulted in long queues, and some people being incorrectly turned away, but authorities are reassuring Aucklanders there is enough capacity for them to get a test if they need one.
At the high school head girl Rhonda Nguyen was one of hundreds of people who queued up for a test, saying she wanted to set an example for the other students.
"Especially since we found out this morning it's the UK variant which is much more transmissible so we want to do our bit to keep everybody safe," she said.
Testing at the school comes as Auckland was plunged into level 3 lockdown, and the rest of the country into level 2, after Year 9 student and her parents tested positive during the weekend.
Earlier in the day the queue got so long that some families were being advised to go to other testing stations or come back tomorrow rather than wait in the wet weather.
School principal Vaughan Couillault said the queue for families waiting in cars was "a couple of hours long" at one stage.
The school notified families walking in for testing at 11am that "the waiting time for walk-up students is 45 minutes and there is no shelter for the walk-ups [shelters are on their way to site]".
Student Armaan told RNZ he had been feeling very anxious since finding out there was a case at the school, particularly because he sometimes studied in the same maths space as the positive student.
"I'd rather stay vigilant and take as many precautions to avoid giving it to my family," he said.
A man called Renay was of those who made it to the testing centre early with his daughter.
"I'm nervous that we're in this position again - I never thought it would be so close to us but it's just around and I think we still need to take care and be vigilant," he said.
At one stage up to 70 cars were queued back onto Great South Rd.
About a 10-minute drive away at the Whanau Ora Community Clinic in Wiri, some people were also incorrectly asked to return later or the next day because of an overflowing carpark.
The Northern Region Health Co-ordination Centre (NRHCC) confirmed there was confusion resulting in traffic management turning people away at the Wiri clinic, but the misunderstanding was sorted out "quickly".
"People in Auckland can be confident there is capacity for them to get a test if they need one - no one will be turned away," said a spokesperson.
An additional testing centre opened in Botany today.
At least two additional community testing centres will open tomorrow, one in Takanini at 8am, and another in Piopio in Waikato from noon to 3pm. Both locations are to be confirmed.
NRHCC says it is monitoring the situation and will continue to increase capacity and hours at the existing testing sites, and open new ones as needed.
"If you don't need to be urgently tested, please stay off the roads, stay at home and keep dry," the spokesperson said.
Some 1925 test were taken today in Auckland across community testing centres (CTC), pop-up testing centres, GP clinics and urgent care clinics, the NRHCC said.
That compares to the 1786 tests taken in Auckland on Sunday.
The Ministry of Health is asking people only get a test if they were at one of the 21 locations of interest visited by the family.
"If you have symptoms but have not been to a location of interest, stay home and call Healthline for advice," it said in a release.
"We are anticipating high demand at our Covid-19 testing sites and delays are possible, so our request is to please be patient."
Additional reporting - RNZ