Covid Care in the Community

Covid (this variety is Omicron) is present in our communities and we want to help you to feel safe and know when to be tested for Covid and where to get the help you need.

With Omicron, most people who are fully vaccinated and otherwise healthy, will be able to self-manage at home.  

Support is available and you can always talk to your GP or your usual health provider.

Booster is best

The best protection against Covid is to be fully vaccinated. This is the best thing you can do to help stop the spread of the virus and its impact on our communities.  Vaccination is free and it is widely available at health providers across the district.

For current information regarding Covid-19 vaccine eligibility for all groups, and to book your vaccine, please visit the Ministry of Health website.

The primary vaccination course is now (09.02.23) available for Infants 6 months - 4 years who are at greater risk of severe illness from Covid-19, review the eligibility criteria for further details.

From the 1 April 2023 the eligibility criteria for additional boosters will be expanded to include anyone aged 30 and over, and people at higher risk of severe illness from Covid-19, more information will be provided about this change in the coming weeks.
For current information & further updates please refer to Covid-19 Vaccine: Boosters

When to get a Covid test?

  • If you have symptoms, even mild  - sore throat, runny nose, headache, new or worsening cough. Full list of symptoms.
  • If a member of your household is a confirmed Covid positive case.
  • If you have to go in to hospital, you may need a Covid test.


How to access Covid testing

Most Covid testing now is by rapid antigen testing (RATs). Anyone in New Zealand can get free RATs.

You can order rapid antigen tests (RATs) online via the RAT requester website or by ringing 0800 222 478 (option 3) from 8am to 8pm.

You will get an order number and can collect tests for you and your household at dozens of sites across the region. Collection sites are available on HealthPoint.

Testing – RAT tests and PCR swabs - are also available at community testing sites and some general practices. PCR testing is available for Healthcare workers.

For individuals unable to undertake their own RAT or who might struggle to lodge their test results, general practices can do a supervised RAT test (there may be a cost for this - please check with your GP first).

WellSouth's 0800-VIRUS-19 (0800 847-8719) call centre can help you access testing.

The call centre operates Monday - Friday, 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. Calls received after hours, weekends, and public holidays will be diverted to Healthline. 

Testing for international travel is not funded. It is available for a fee from some general practices, private providers, and urgent doctors. Check with your airline on timing.

Register your RAT test results

You should register your Covid test result, whether it is positive or negative, on

Or call 0800 222 478, press option 3.

What happens if you test positive for Covid

If you test positive for Covid, report your result through the My Covid record. You will receive a text (within 24 hours) with an access code/link to an online assessment form. These questions will help determine what level of support and care you need. You will also be provided with information and how to access social support if you need extra assistance – food, and other necessities.

You will need to isolate for seven days from either the day your symptoms start or the day you tested positive (whichever came first). If you have new or worsening symptoms, you should seek advice from a health practitioner or Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

Your Household Contacts do not need to isolate. They should test daily for 5 days. If they test positive, they need to begin 7 days of isolation.

COVID-19 antiviral medicines are available to treat eligible people with COVID-19 at home. Please consult your GP or pharmacy to see if you are eligible. You can check the eligibility criteria here. 

If your circumstances or condition changes, you can always request help and you should seek medical attention if your symptoms get worse or you have trouble breathing.  


What happens if you are symptomatic and test negative for COVID-19?

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and get tested. If your RAT result is negative but your symptoms continue or worsen, continue to stay at home and take a further test 48 hours later. Sometimes, a more sensitive PCR test may be needed. A health professional can advise you on the right test to take in your situation. 
Rapid Antigen Testing

How to get help

You can talk to your general practice.

You can also call HealthLine (0800 358 5453) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

In an emergency, dial 111.


Staying safe and healthy 

  • Wear a mask.
  • Wash and sanitise your hands often.  
  • Get a Covid test if you are unwell and stay home until you have a negative test and you no longer have symptoms.
  • If you need help, particularly if your symptoms get worse, contact your usual general practice or health provider. Or Call the Covid HealthLine 0800 358 5453.
  • In an emergency, always call 111.

If you have not already done so, please get your Covid vaccination. 

It is free for everyone who is eligible. Covid vaccination sites

Supported Isolation and Quarantine

Supported Isolation and Quarantine (SIQ) facilities are also available for those with Covid who can’t safely isolate at home.

Don’t be scared, be prepared

Support and health care will be available to help you or your whānau if you are Covid positive. But there are some things you can do to be ready, just in case.

  • Get any prescriptions (medicines) you might need from your GP or pharmacy. This includes cough medicines and paracetamol/ibuprofen.  
  • Try to have some extra groceries and other necessities on hand – enough for at least two days, ideally a week. Canned food, toilet paper, soaps and household cleaners and other items you can’t do without.
  • Write down important contact numbers and keep them somewhere handy.
  • Share your Covid plan with someone outside your household, so they can help you if you and your whānau need to isolate.