Auckland residents were shocked to learn a Covid-positive woman who was avoiding authorities after travelling with another case to Northland had been hiding nearby.
The woman, who returned a positive test result today, was avoiding police and health officials after travelling with another woman, also now infected, from Auckland to Northland for non-essential purposes earlier this month.
Police said she was found at a property in New Lynn last night showing symptoms, and has been taken to the Jet Park Hotel MIQ facility in south Auckland.
Residents on Northall Rd told the Herald around five police cars, officers and people wearing PPE could be seen on the quiet suburban street, outside what is believed to be the property the woman was hiding from authorities in.
Nearby neighbours said they saw people wearing white hazmat suits walking down a driveway near them around 7pm last night.
They said the operation was very quiet and officers didn't stay long.
One resident said it was very concerning to learn a Covid-19 case was so close, and that she had not been co-operating with health officials. The resident said everyone in Auckland is doing their best to keep safe and comply.
Other neighbours on the street had no idea that the woman had been found by police last night and were shocked.
The person is being interviewed and any new locations of interest in Auckland and Northland will be posted on the Ministry of Health website as they become available.
Police said the woman was alone when she was found last night, and all staff interacting with her wore full PPE.
Four officers who dealt with the woman were stood down last night as a precautionary measure, however following advice from health officials, police has been advised the staff are not required to isolate.
No decision around any charges will be made until the investigation has been completed and she has been interviewed, police said.
Meanwhile, 18 contacts have been identified to the woman who tested positive last week after travelling to Northland.
The ministry said nine are in Northland, seven are in Auckland, one is in Wellington, and one was still to be determined.
Contact tracers have made contact with 17 of these individuals, one of whom is the travelling companion and four who are household contacts.
All 17 of these individuals have been tested. The remaining contact is being actively followed up by contact tracers and will be advised to get a test.
The Ministry of Health revealed yesterday that the woman had visited the Kingswood Manor Motel in Whangārei on the night of Sunday October 3. She left around 10.15am on Monday morning.
During last night's Cabinet announcement from the Beehive, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was "extraordinary" how both women were unco-operative with authorities.
"I feel the same frustration that everyone else feels," she said. "They are refusing to co-operate ... it is beyond irresponsible, it is dangerous."
She said health officials and police were "pulling out all the stops" to find her.
The pair travelled to the region under false pretences and had been refusing to tell public health staffers where they went and who they were with, which is key information needed by contact tracers trying to stamp out the spread of Covid-19.
Northland has been in level 3 since Friday night because of the uncertainty and lack of information.