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COVID-19 testing

Updated 09/11/2020

The earlier we can spot a new COVID outbreak, the smaller we can keep it; every day counts.  So we encourage people to come and get tested if they have a respiratory illness like a cold or sore throat.  COVID specimen numbers in the Waikato are running at about 300 a day and we could comfortably test 1000 if needed.  Please refer to national guidance on who to test. 

Testing is done 7 days a week.  Expected turnaround time is  <48 hours and is usually <24 hr for specimens collected at Waikato Hospital.  Selected cases may be tested urgently between the hours 08:00 and 22:00 by phoned request, but our capacity is limited to 4 or 5 cases each day.   It is best to walk the specimen to the lab for urgent testing like this.  Turnaround time for rapid testing is <2 hours.

ICU, HDU and Haem/Oncology:  please phone 98606 to request.  All other locations: please phone the Clinical Microbiologist on duty 027 2905255 to request



Dr Chris Mansell

Clinical Microbiologist



Latest laboratory specimen collection information can be found here

Waikato Respiratory Virus 2020 Week 39

29 September 2020

Influenza and RSV seem unlikely to cause seasonal epidemics this year.

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Waikato Respiratory Virus Report 2020 Week 37

16 September 2020

Specimen numbers for routine testing continue to fall, suggesting that seasonal respiratory viral illness is heading towards low, summer levels.

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Waikato Respiratory Virus Report 2020 Week 36

9 September 2020

Testing has quietened down after the recent COVID-19 cases in Tokoroa and we still have no Influenza or RSV.

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Waikato Respiratory Report - Week 34

25 August 2020

SARS-CoV-2 testing has been very active in the Waikato over the past 2 weeks, after a new cluster was found in Auckland and some cases had already travelled to the Waikato.

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Waikato Respiratory Virus Report - Week 33

19 August 2020

We tested a large number of samples for SARS-CoV-2 from Thursday last week onwards. Test numbers for other respiratory viruses remain steady and no Influenza or RSV has been found...

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Latest News

Waikato Respiratory Virus Report Week 47

25 November 2020

We’re seeing a wide diversity of respiratory viruses in the Waikato at present and anecdotally increased numbers of children presenting with more severe illness. The traditional Influenza and RSV are still absent.

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Waikato Respiratory Virus 2020 Week 45

9 November 2020

Rhinoviruses, seasonal coronaviruses and adenoviruses are present but Influenza, RSV and SARS-CoV-2 are not circulating in the Waikato. Thank you for continuing to send in swabs for COVID-19 testing.

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Waikato Respiratory Virus 2020 Week 43

27 October 2020

It’s summer season for viruses already and we are seeing just a few rhinovirus and adenovirus.

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