Information on COVID-19 Testing | Northland DHB

Information on COVID-19 Testing

In Northland, information on where our Community Based Testing Centres are located can be found here, and this information is updated regularly.


What happens if I am tested for COVID-19?

  • You will need to follow any instructions you’re given like turning up on time, calling ahead or waiting in your car
  • You will be asked questions including your name, date of birth, your address, and about where you work. This information will be shared  with public health and others involved in monitoring COVID-19

  • You will have a swab taken from your nose or throat; this can be uncomfortable

  • This swab is sent to an Auckland laboratory for testing

  • Results take around five days to come back

  • You will be given a fact sheet at the point of screening and can ask any questions you might have

  • If you are being tested as you have shown symptoms or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, you should continue to act as though you have COVID-19 and self-isolate until you're notified of your results.

What happens next if my result is negative?

  • If test results come back negative, you will be notified via text message or email (or on a landline phone if you don’t have these). It means that COVID-19 was not detected at the time you were tested.

Even if your test is negative, if you have cold or flu-like symptoms please stay home until you have been feeling well again for at least 24 hours.

Remember, just because someone tests negative for COVID-19, does not mean they are safe from catching the virus in the future -  they will still need to practice safe hygiene and social distancing, and stay home if they develop symptoms again or come in to close contact with a confirmed or probable case.

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?

  • Whenever someone is diagnosed with COVID-19, medical professionals will let you know your results. You will also be contacted by Public Health who will talk to you about what happens next.

    In New Zealand, everyone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 is isolated until they are no longer infectious and able to pass this on to someone else.

    In Northland, the Public Health Unit will follow up with daily phone calls to check on your health and to make sure you are managing in isolation until you have no more symptoms of COVID-19. This can mean being isolated for several weeks. Public Health will also talk to you about all of the people you have been in close contact with while you were sick, and follow up with all of those people as well. This is why it is important to keep track of where you spend most of your time and who you spend most of your time with, and to follow any contact registering requirements at cafes, shops, or premises you visit.

What do I do if I am not contacted about my results after five days?

  • Most COVID-19 test results are available within 5 days of testing, but occasionally when very large numbers of tests are being done, or if the phone number we have for you is not correct, or if there is a problem with your sample, results can take longer.

    If you have been tested, and have not received your results after 5 days, you can telephone for your results:

    - If you were tested at your GP or an after-hours clinic – please phone them for your results
    - If you were tested at a Community Testing Centre, by a Maori Health Provider, or at the hospital - you can call 0800 600 720 to ask about your results.

Recovery from COVID-19

For a person to be recovered from COVID-19, they must meet the following criteria:

  •   It must have been at least 10 days since the onset of their symptoms
  •   After the 10 days, they need to have been clear of all symptoms for 48 hours.

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