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COVID-19 testing

Updated 11/06/2020

In Level 1 it is important to quickly find every case of SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID) so testing is encouraged.  Testing is generally guided by the NZ Ministry of Health case definitions, which are updated from time to time and include many patients hospitalised with suspected infection at an unknown site. 

Testing schedules are adapted weekly.  Currently it is batched twice daily 08:00 and 12:00 seven days a week. Expected  turnaround time is  <24 hours from laboratory registration to result.

Most clinical pathways have been arranged so that a pending COVID test should not delay investigations or admissions.

Selected cases can be tested urgently upon phoned request between the hours 08:00 and 22:00.  Turnaround time is <2 hours. 
ICU, HDU and Haem/Oncology:  please phone 98606 to request. 
Other locations: please phone the Clinical Microbiologist on duty 027 290 5255 and leave a message if you don't get through first time.

Additional testing, such as for Influenza and RSV, is also available.


Latest laboratory specimen collection information can be found here

Waikato Respiratory Virus Report - Week 34

28 August 2018

Influenza A and RSV numbers are steady, at winter levels. Requests for Pertussis (whooping cough) PCR testing remain few and we have not had any positive swabs for the past month.

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Waikato Respiratory Virus Report - Week 32

14 August 2018

Influenza numbers remain high. However, only 29% of samples are positive for Influenza A so most patients would not benefit from Oseltamivir because there a variety of other viruses circulating too.

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Latest News

Waikato Respiratory Virus Report - Week 26

29 June 2020

Influenza and RSV remain notably absent. Rhinovirus has come back since restrictions eased to level 2 and 1, causing mostly mild and moderate respiratory tract illness (common colds).

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Waikato Respiratory Virus Report - Week 24

16 June 2020

The usual respiratory viruses have been absent for 8 weeks but are now reappearing, as COVID control measures are eased.

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Waikato Respiratory Virus Report - Week 18

5 May 2020

We have been testing a steady number of patients but found no cases of Influenza, Rhinovirus, RSV or other respiratory viruses over the past month.

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