Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs)
Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT tests) are the primary method of testing. RAT tests are available free of charge and their easy accessibility means people can test and get results more quickly, helping reduce the spread of the virus.
People meeting testing criteria are provided with tests, instructions on how to use the tests, when to take the tests, and how to report a Covid result.
More about Rapid Antigen Testing
PCR testing is still available at Community Based Testing Sites (CBCT) sites and through general practices and some other providers. PCR tests (swabs) are generally used for vulnerable populations, healthcare workers, anyone unable to self-administer a RAT test, or for pre-admission testing on advice of your doctor.
CBCTs clinicians have discretion to administer PCR tests for other symptomatic patients as they deem appropriate.
WellSouth's 0-800-VIRUS-19 (0800 847-8719) call centre can help you access testing.
Report your result
With your RAT testing kits, you will have receive information sheets about how to self-administer the tests, and reporting results.
If you test positive with a RAT test you do not need to have that confirmed by PCR – you are a case.
Your test result - positive or negative - should be reported. Please update your My Covid Record https://mycovidrecord.health.nz/ with your result. Call 0800 222 478, option 3, if you need any support to do that.
You should self-isolate, whether or not you have symptoms, for 10 days and are symptom-free.
If you test is positive
Once you have reported your result, you will receive a text notification (within 24 hours) confirming the Covid positive result - you have to report your result - and you will need to complete an online form in the link you receive in the text message as soon as possible. This will ensure you have access to the appropriate care and support when you need it.
Care when you have Covid
Most healthy people who have Covid can safely self-manage at home. However, help is available. If you are unwell or your symptoms worsen, contact your usual health provider or HealthLine (0800 358 5453 ). Dial 111 in an emergency. If you or your whānau need welfare support please call 0800 512 337.
RAT tests and General Practices
Many general practices will also be able to offer supervised RAT tests to patients who meet the criteria noted above. Check with your general practice about accessing. More details soon.