South Auckland residents have descended on a pop-up testing centre in Clover Park after everyone in the suburb was urged to get tested, regardless of symptoms.
This afternoon Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern urged anyone in Clover Park to visit a new testing centre at the Manukau Sports Bowl in response to a string of cases in the area.
The centre opened at 10am but a security guard told the Herald lines started to form this afternoon.
An employee at the Diorelle Drive Superette in Clover Park told the Herald he will have to get tested after work today.
“It’s a bit of a pain but we’re doing whatever we’ve been asked to, it won’t be easy because it’s a big area, a lot of people in the suburb,” Kurpreet said.
He was tested last month because he visited a location of interest.He is worried there will be long queues at testing centres following the announcement.
“It will take time if everybody shows up … it is definitely not easy.”
Kurpreet said five people work at the superette, some over the age of 60.
Staff at Dawson Rd Superette said staff there had just been tested last week, with negative results coming back on Friday.
“We don’t mind the test, it’s better to make sure everything good,” an employee said.
She said it’s “scary” being in the suburb and some people turn up to the store without wearing a mask, and get “angry” when they are not allowed inside.
One Clover Park resident told the Herald he will not be getting tested because it’s too invasive.
“I find the current … test far too invasive. Once they roll out saliva testing as an option for community I will be happy to be tested.
“I believe the suburbs of interest should be remaining at a higher alert level to stop the risk of further spread to other areas.”
There are currently 20 locations of interest in Clover Park, with the majority being a cluster of businesses on Dawson Rd.
The latest one added yesterday – No.1 Supa Value Supermarket – was visited on September 14 around lunchtime by an infected person.
Dawson Road Foodmarket, SuperValue Flatbush, a Z petrol station on Te Irirangi Dr, Unichem Pharmacy on Dawson Rd, Chapel Downs Supermarket and Blue Sea Laundromat are also locations of interest.
Some have been visited by a positive case as early as September 8 and 9.
It is unclear how many positive cases have been detected in Clover Park and how many households are affected.
The Ministry of Health told the Herald it could not provide further details due to privacy reasons, given that Clover Park “is a relatively small area”.
Residents of seven other suburbs of interest are also being asked to come forward if they have symptoms or mild symptoms for testing.
They are Mt Eden, Massey, Māngere, Favona, Papatoetoe, Ōtara and Manurewa.
Fourteen new community cases were announced today, 13 of which are in Auckland. One case is yet to be epidemiologically linked to the outbreak.
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