Health screening and COVID-19 testing

Our requirements around health screening and COVID testing.

Routine health screening and COVID-19 testing

While you are in managed isolation you will receive regular health checks either in person or by telephone. Health checks and COVID-19 testing are important for your wellbeing and for others around you. It also helps us provide you with medical treatment if you’ve been exposed to the virus or have other health concerns.

You must follow instructions from the Medical Officer of Health or a Health Protection Officer during your stay. As well as COVID-19 testing, you will also be required to have a medical assessment. If asked to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks (supplied to you) at any time during your stay, you must do so. You will be tested at least 3 times for COVID-19.

COVID-19 testing

If you have already tested positive for COVID-19, you do not need to be tested again. This is because people who recover from COVID-19 often continue to test positive for weeks after their recovery – even when they aren’t infectious anymore.

Instead of being re-tested, you will be assessed to make sure you have recovered from COVID-19 and are at low risk of infecting anyone else. You will be assessed to check:

  • It has been at least 14 days since you tested positive for COVID-19 (if you remain asymptomatic), or since you first developed symptoms
  • You haven’t had any symptoms for at least 72 hours.

If you are a close contact of a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, we will test you from time to time for COVID-19.

Testing frequency will depend on your situation. In most cases, once you’ve been identified as a close contact, we will ask you to be tested around:

Day 3

We test around day 3, as the average time most people develop infection after exposure is 5 days.

Day 6

We test again around Day 6 as this will allow us to identify potential cases well before day 12.

Day 12

We then test again around day 12 as the infection may take longer to develop in some people. This test is also one of the checks we use to determine if a person is low risk and can leave the facility after 14 days.

You are required to be tested at days 3, 6 and 12 even if you show no symptoms. You may also be tested at other times if you show any of the symptoms of COVID-19.

Nasal swab test

Testing involves having a swab taken from the back of your nose (nasopharyngeal testing). For most people this feels like a tickle, others find it a bit uncomfortable, but it is not known to cause harm. It takes 10 seconds to collect the sample.

Children are also required to undergo a nasal swab. Infants under 6 months of age are not required to undergo nasopharyngeal testing, unless they are symptomatic or close contacts of a confirmed or probable case. In all cases, clinical discretion can apply.

The sample is then sent to the laboratory and tested to see if it contains any genes from the SARS-CoV-2 virus – the virus that causes COVID-19.

See Appendix 1 for more information on testing and results

If you refuse a test

By getting tested you are helping stop the spread of COVID-19 and protecting yourself, your loved ones and the New Zealand community from the virus.

We respect your right to refuse a test, however in order to protect all New Zealanders from COVID-19, if you refuse a test or are not considered low risk, your stay could be up to 28 days.

Help is always available

It is important you are honest about your health during your stay. This is the best way your health needs and wellbeing can be managed. A team of health professionals is always available at your facility.

  • If you are feeling unwell, please stay in your room and phone the on-site team. They will advise what to do next.

While isolation can be difficult, it is an important measure to keep New Zealand safe and stamp out COVID-19. By isolating and monitoring your own health, you're playing the most important role you can to achieve both these objectives.

If at any point during your stay you develop the COVID-19 symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath sore throat, runny nose, or temporary loss of sense of smell, let on-site staff know immediately by phone. They will arrange for you to be assessed by the on-site health team.

How to hand wash

  1. Wet hands with water and apply enough soap to cover all hand surfaces
  2. Rub hands palm to palm, up to and including wrists
  3. Right palm over back of left with linked fingers and vice versa
  4. Palm to palm with fingers linked
  5. Backs of fingers to opposing palms with fingers interlocked
  6. Rotational rubbing of left thumb held in right palm and vice versa
  7. Rotational rubbing firmly, with closed fingers of right hand in left palm and vice versa
  8. Rinse your hands with water
  9. Dry hands thoroughly with a paper towel

Time: 40-60 seconds

Last updated: 30 September 2021