The Waikato District Health Board has confirmed a cluster of Covid-19 cases in Matamata can be linked to a St Patrick's Day celebration at a local bar.
There are now 23 confirmed cases in the area and most have been identified as attending the event on 17 March at the Redoubt bar, or are directly linked to those who attended.
Investigations to find the original source have linked it to overseas travel, said Leena Singh, Incident Controller for the health response in Waikato.
She said any Matamata residents, or vistors who were at the bar on 17 March and who have symptoms of Covid-19 should contact Healthline or their GP. All swabs taken from the town will undergo priority testing.
Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said people the Matamata cluster have been near to are being contacted, to check whether the virus had spread wider.
"We know that there was an index case associated with overseas travel. What's not clear is the extent to which there might be community transmission, so we're doing a full investigation of that cluster at the moment."
- If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP - don't show up at a medical centre
The mayor of the Matamata-Piako District said locals were anxious, after the cluster was confirmed.
Mayor Ash Tanner said the news was unexpected.
"This thing is new to all of us, nobody could see this coming, or the ramifications or implications that it has for our communities, especially businesses, schools, families, everybody really.
"We're all in the same boat."