Covid has returned to Northland, with two cases confirmed today, just days after the region emerged from level 3 lockdown.
The two new cases are now isolating near Kaikohe and, with a third potential case in Whangārei Heads, health officials are urging Northlanders to get tested.
The two cases are contacts of a recently diagnosed case in Auckland. They are not linked to the Covid-positive women who travelled to the region at the start of the month.
The Northern Advocate understands the cases are a woman and her daughter who live in the Kaikohe area.
It's understood the woman has had her first Covid vaccination but her daughter has not had any.
A Ministry of Health statement said the individuals recently travelled to the Kaikohe area from Auckland.
"This was permitted travel under alert level 3. The individuals are now isolating."
The pair were tested on Wednesday, October 20, and were not included in today's case numbers because their test results were received after the ministry's daily reporting period.
The ministry reported 129 new community cases - in Auckland (120) and Waikato (9).
It said a case investigation was under way and had so far identified a limited number of close contacts, who were undergoing tests.
"Interviews are also being undertaken to determine any locations of interest," the ministry said.
The pair are believed to have visited Ōpononi and Whangārei, with six locations of interest involved.
"People living in the Kaikohe area are asked to monitor the Ministry of Health's locations of interest page which will be regularly updated."
The positive test results came today, Northland District Health Board confirmed.
Third case suspected at Parua Bay
There is a third suspect case at Parua Bay ,Whangārei.
"Locations of interest are currently being determined but whānau between Kaikohe and Kaitāia are being urged to get tested," the ministry said.
Ngāti Hine Health Trust chief executive Geoff Milner reiterated the urgency for Māori to get vaccinated.
"We've had the calm before the storm, the door has now opened - and it's here. Ngāti Hine Health Trust will be working hard to play its part, but we need everybody on board to minimise the hits ... it's not too late for our whānau to get vaccinated now."
The two new cases follow a Whangārei Heads tavern confirming an employee's family member had tested positive.
A post on the Parua Bay Tavern Facebook page confirmed they had received information about the worker's family member returning a positive result.
It has not been confirmed whether the family member is based in Northland and the Parua Bay Tavern has not been added as a location of interest to the Ministry of Health (MOH) website.
"As a precaution, the tavern will be closed while the business follows all MOH guidelines."
The post said all staff were isolating and undergoing Covid tests.
"I'm sorry I can't give any more information at this time until we get our results. Thanks for your amazing support."
The scare comes three days after the region took a step closer to normality following a snap lockdown on October 8.
Northland eased up to alert level 2 only on Tuesday at 11.59pm after everyone was taken by surprise on October 8 when the Government announced the region would enter level 3 that same evening.
That snap lockdown came after two women crossed the border from Auckland, allegedly using falsified documents, and toured the region. One of them returned a positive Covid test while in Whangārei.
The Advocate has asked the Northland District Health Board and Government officials for more details about today's potential case.