The number of people tested for Covid-19 in the Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) area jumped during the second week of November on the back of fresh community cases in other parts of the country.
The increase in testing coincided with the announcement of a new community cluster of Covid-19 cases in Auckland linked to a Defence Force worker.
A WDHB spokesman said testing numbers in the Whanganui region had averaged around 80 a week since the beginning of October.
But 119 people were tested last week - a dramatic increase from the 58 tests taken during the previous week.
"Since we started testing on March 18, there have been 9887 tests in the Whanganui region," he said.
"Most of these have been done at our community-based assessment centre (CBAC) at the hospital but they are also done by GPs, occasionally in the hospital's emergency and outpatients departments, pop-up test centres and some were done at Waiouru Army Base."
The WDHB urges the community to continue with precautionary measures and follow the recommended Ministry of Health guidelines.
• If you are unwell, stay home and call your GP or Healthline 0800 358 5453.
If you have flu-like symptoms (coughing, sneezing, fever, runny nose, shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell) you should get tested for Covid-19.
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• The testing centre at Whanganui Hospital is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 3.30pm. It is free; people just need to turn up.
• Wash your hands with soap. Cough and sneeze into your elbow. Clean surfaces.
Keep track of your movements by downloading the free NZ Covid Tracer app and scanning QR Codes wherever you go.
• Have a face mask ready and wear it in crowded spaces or where it is difficult to maintain good physical distancing. A face mask is mandatory on all flights and is recommended for public transport.