Despite the growing list of Rotorua businesses visited by a family showing Covid-19 symptoms, the district remains at alert level 2.
Auckland is at alert level 3, and the rest of the country at level 2, until at least midnight tomorrow.
The decisions to move up from level 1 this week followed four confirmed Covid-19 cases from a South Auckland family, with no known source, identified on Tuesday.
Yesterday, it was revealed the family visited Rotorua between August 8 and left on August 11, just hours before members tested positive for Covid-19.
At today'sbriefing with director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, it was announced the new outbreak of community transmission had grown to 17 cases, all in Auckland.
When asked why Rotorua was not going to a higher alert level, Bloomfield said: "The sense is that at most there was casual contact with other people at those places [in Rotorua]."
"We are of course doing the follow up of those visits ... Our experience earlier in the year was that the vast majority, over 95 per cent of cases occur in workplaces or in households, not through casual visits to places."
"At this point in time it seems very clear that the focus of the outbreak is in Auckland," he added.
He said there were other locations the family had visited but "at these locations we are confident there is no risk of exposure to anyone".
Ardern said it was "heartening" to see the only community transmission cases were in one cluster, so far.
"As with our first outbreak, we do have an expectation that things will get worse before they get better. We all remember that pattern as well, modelling suggests that we will see more positive cases."
She said identifying NHI numbers was one of the things causing long waits at testing centres, so people needed to have their number with them before getting in line.
Ardern also encouraged people to get tested at their GP instead, to avoid the queues.
She said GPs would not be charging for tests - they are free - but you must call your GP in advance to warn them if you want a test, so infection control measures can be put in place.
Hygiene and tracing
Alert level 2 is when the disease is contained. No more than 100 people are allowed at gatherings and businesses can open to the public if they are following public health guidelines, includes physical distancing and record keeping.
Make sure you carry out physical distancing of 2m, wash your hands or use hand sanitiser and wear a mask.
If you have a smartphone, download and use the NZ Covid Tracer app or keep a manual record of the places you go, the times, and who you interact with.
Check in with friends, family and neighbours on the phone, via email or from a distance.
Face masks can be bought online, from essential businesses such as supermarkets and pharmacies or made at home.
Associate Professor Arindam Basu from the University of Canterbury's College of Education, Health and Human Development says "any mask is good, except those with valves on them".
"Mask wearing needs to be with all other precautions (hand wash/cough-sneeze hygiene)."