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Archive: 2020

COVID-19 testing

Updated 21 Dec 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 250 a day and we could comfortably test 1000 if needed.  Please refer to national guidance on who to test. Locations where people can get tested in the community over Christmas and New Year 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 13

31 March 2020

SARS-CoV-2 detection in the Waikato is still dominated by travel related outbreaks.

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Waikato Respiratory Virus Report 2020 - Week 11

20 March 2020

There are still very few of the traditional winter viruses circulating. This report shows sample and result numbers for the first week of large scale testing for SARS-CoV-2 (cause of COVID-19).

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Waikato Respiratory Virus Report 2020 - Week 10

12 March 2020

Respiratory viral illness is at low levels. A small number of patients with suspected COVID 19 in the Waikato have been tested, but all have been negative so far.

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Waikato Respiratory Virus Report 2020 - Week 7

18 February 2020

We are still in the “summer season”, with very little Influenza, RSV or other viruses circulating.

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Laboratory analyser update

12 February 2020

The laboratory analyser system includes a pre-analytical module (MPA) that streamlines the process by centrifuging specimens, separating them where required, and feeding them into the analysers automatically.

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Latest News

Waikato Respiratory Virus Report 2021 Week 1

14 January 2021

Quiet, summer pattern. No Influenza, RSV or COVID.

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Waikato Respiratory Virus Report 2020 Week 53

6 January 2021

The following major respiratory viral pathogens are absent from the Waikato community: Influenza A, Influenza B, RSV, SARS-CoV-2.

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Waikato Respiratory Virus Report Week 51

22 December 2020

A variety of respiratory viruses are circulating in the Waikato but Influenza, RSV and SARS-CoV-2 remain absent.

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