Sky Stadium is being set up as a new collection site for rapid antigen tests in Wellington as long queues form at existing sites, causing traffic jams on State Highway 1.
This morning a Petone resident said he couldn't get out of his house due to "crazy massive" queues. Half of the Lower Hutt suburb was in gridlock, he said.
Yesterday a long row of vehicles stretched along SH1 waiting to pick up tests from the Hataitai netball courts site.
It was causing considerable traffic delays on the southern side of the Mt Victoria tunnel.
Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast DHBs acting Covid-19 response general manager Dr Junior Ulu said work was underway to address the queues at testing and collection sites.
Sky Stadium is being readied to replace the Hataitai collection site by the end of the week.
New collection points were also due to come online as the week progresses, including a number of pharmacies, Ulu said.
"It is important that only people who have symptoms or who live with someone with Covid-19 come to collect rapid antigen tests at this time. Our teams are reporting that many people turning up at sites do not fit these criteria, which is contributing to the large queues."
Ulu said it was understandable the rapid increase in Covid-19 cases was scary, but it was important to make sure people who needed to be tested could do this as easily as possible.
"We would also like to remind people to be patient and kind to each other and our staff. They are working as hard as they can. Abusive or aggressive behaviour does not help anyone and will not be tolerated."
More than 345,000 rapid antigen tests have already been distributed throughout the DHB's collection sites, Ulu said.
Yesterday director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said he was aware of reports of people waiting more than two hours to pick up tests in Wellington.
The situation could require another site or more staff at existing sites, he said.
"What we've seen with PCR testing is the DHBs are very good at surging staff in if they need to, so I'm confident they will respond to the queues and also we're able to respond by getting more rapid antigen tests delivered out."
Today the Ministry of Health reported 1,115 new cases of the virus in the Capital & Coast DHB area, and 473 in the Hutt Valley.
There are 13 people in hospital across the two areas.
On the increasing number of cases in Wellington, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins' message to the protesters was the virus is real and that it should surely be "pause for thought" when their friends standing next to them get sick.
His message to protesters was to go home now.
Yesterday the Ministry said 20 people have been identified as having tested positive for Covid-19, who had been at the protest outside Parliament.
These cases are thought to be protesters, although they have not been interviewed as they would have been prior to the recent changes in case investigation as the Omicron outbreak grows, the Ministry said.