Capacity at Auckland's four community testing centres for Covid-19 has been boosted with additional staff and longer hours.

Auckland moves to level 3 at noon today for three days, until midnight on Friday. The rest of New Zealand is entering alert level 2 from midday today for three days, also until midnight on Friday.

It follows Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Tuesday evening announcement that there have been four positive cases of Covid-19 outside of managed isolation or quarantine in Auckland.

People in Auckland should stay home from work or school. Schools and childcare facilities in Auckland will be closed from this morning except for the children of essential service workers, and gatherings of more than 10 people are again restricted in Auckland.

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Traffic management is in place at all four of the Auckland testing sites, but people should expect longer waits than usual.

The centres are:

• Northcote - 16-18 College Rd.
• Eden Terrace - 112 New North Rd, entrance via Ngahura St.
• Henderson - Whanau House, corner of Edsel St and Catherine St.
• Wiri - Whanāu Ora Community Clinic, 25 Druces Rd.

Two pop-up centres will be open from 9am.

One is in Ōtara Town Centre carpark, the second at Health New Lynn.

General practices and urgent-care clinics are also prepared for a higher volume of testing.

Mobile-testing units are on standby to be deployed rapidly to locations throughout the city as directed by public health.

Northern Region Health Coordination Centre lead (and Counties Manukau Health CEO) Margie Apa said the health sector in Auckland was well prepared to respond to new community cases but asked people to be patient if they were going to get tested.

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"This news is of concern, but we expected to see further community cases in Auckland at some point in this pandemic, and we are well prepared.

"We are working closely with the Ministry of Health and other agencies to ensure everything possible is done to contain the spread of Covid-19 in our communities."

A statement from Auckland DHBs said all health services were regarded as essential and should continue as usual, with an additional focus on infection prevention control measures and distancing of patients.

Hospitals will continue with planned care including clinics and surgery and patients should keep their appointments unless advised otherwise by their specialists.

Meanwhile, the city's hospitals and aged residential care facilities are updating their visitor policies and other protocols to protect the most vulnerable.

Apa called for Aucklanders to be vigilant.

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"Maintain good hand hygiene. If you are sick, stay home. Keep track of your movements to help us with contact tracing. Maintain physical distancing.

"If you have any symptoms, please get a free test ... If you are unsure, call your local doctor or Healthline. We advise that you ring ahead if you are planning to see your practice."

KEY POINTS
Aucklanders are being told to stay at home as the city goes into level 3 lockdown from midday today until midnight Friday
• The rest of New Zealand will move up to alert level 2 over the same time
Four people in one South Auckland household test positive for Covid-19 from an unknown source
A virus expert worries it may be tough to trace the source of the infection back to the border
Supermarkets are calling for calm and urging people to 'shop normally'
Auckland schools will only take students of essential workers – all others must stay home
After praising our efforts to stamp out Covid-19, the world reacted to the sudden return of community transmission