Nelson's mayor says it was a matter of "when" not "if" Covid-19 would show up on its doorstep, but it hasn't stopped the community from feeling anxious.
To date the Nelson-Tasman region has 14 active Covid-19 cases across two clusters. There are 11 cases in one cluster and three in the other.
Ten cases alone were announced on Thursday.
Two schools with Covid-19 positive staff — Enner Glynn School and Broadgreen Intermediate — have closed.
Mayor Rachel Reese told Breakfast: "Of course we had a case over in Blenheim about a month ago so Nelsonians were ready for the fact that it could come here.
"But the day it does, yeah the anxiety goes up. We’ve got several cases as you said so now it’s just a matter of really working on that contact tracing and everyone doing the things they know they’ve got to do – got symptoms go to get tested and please our last few people that aren’t vaccinated, now’s the time."
Reese remarked "Nelson's looking good" when asked about its vaccination rates. To date, 92 per cent of those in the Nelson-Marlborough DHB area have received one dose, while 85 per cent are fully vaccinated.
The mayor said "we're well prepared" for the virus.
"We’ve been working with our health partners, iwi, MSD and other agencies to prepare for this. Hospitals are preparing in case we do have cases who require hospitalisation. But look the services are great."
Reese said the community was "really wrapping around" the schools affected, although it was feeling anxious.
"They are probably now paying a bit more attention to some of the things we’ve maybe got a little complacent about — mask wearing, making sure everyone’s doing their scanning, and of course those vaccine passes you talked about are going to be very critical.
"Now we’ve got Covid cases in the community, I think as we go through the next week they’re going to become a little more normal, but also as we go into Orange in our region, vaccine passes really come into play."
However, Reese remarked it was better to have cases in the region now than closer to the Christmas holiday period.
"I think as we go over the next few weeks the numbers will be a bit lumpy, but what I’m being told is that is what it looks like at the start of a cluster."