× Test Guide Collection Guides Guidelines News Contact Useful Links


COVID-19 testing

Updated 27 July 2021

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 should be tested. Locations where people can get tested in the community are shown here.

Lab 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 urgent 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 Report - Week 35

4 September 2018

Influenza A is having a prolonged season and specimen numbers are still high.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Latest News

Waikato Respiratory Virus Report 2021 Week 29

27 July 2021

RSV numbers have started to fall. Cases in 2021 have now reached twice the number in a typical winter, catching up after zero cases in 2020.

Read More

Waikato Respiratory Virus Report 2021 Week 28

23 July 2021

This is the most cases we have seen in one season, so far.

Read More

Waikato Respiratory Virus Report 2021 week 27

12 July 2021

RSV numbers are very high, probably due to the larger population of non immune children because it didn't circulate last year.

Read More