COVID-19 - Testing rates for ethnicity and DHB

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Testing rate data

This information was updated on 12 May with data to 9 May.

A high number of tests across the country helps identify cases of COVID-19 early, manage clusters of cases when we find them and track how well our efforts are working.This page records information about the ethnicity breakdown of testing and testing by region.

Please note this page will be updated when additional information is available.

Localised testing helps ensure we are both looking for and finding cases across the country.

Surveillance testing - testing of a wider population to make sure there are no undetected cases - is also being carried out in parts of New Zealand.

If you are looking for information about how testing works or what might happen if you need a test, see the COVID-19 website

Notes on the data:

  • Testing  rates per 1,000 people uses prioritised ethnicity from NHI and Stats NZ 2019 population projections.
  • Prioritised ethnicity classification is used for reporting purpose. Prioritised ethnic groups involve each person being allocated to a single ethnic group based on the ethnic groups they have identified with, which are, in order of priority: Māori, Pacific Peoples, Asian, MELAA (Middle Eastern / Latin American / African) and European/Other. This means that if a person identifies as being Māori and New Zealand European, the person is counted as Māori. 

Tests by DHB

COVID-19 tests by DHB from 22 January to 9 May
DHB Total people tested  Positive % Test rate per 1,000 people
Northland 5,935 0.5% 33
Waitemata 20,774 0.7% 33
Auckland 17,194 0.8% 31
Counties Manukau 20,463 0.4% 36
Waikato 15,746 0.9% 37
Lakes 3,411 0.2% 31
Bay of Plenty 6,959 0.3% 29
Tairawhiti 2,598 0.2% 52
Hawke's Bay 5,925 0.6% 35
Taranaki 4,069 0.2% 34
Mid Central 4,777 0.6% 26
Whanganui 2,659 0.2% 41
Capital and Coast 10,693 0.7% 33
Hutt Valley 5,092 0.3% 34
Wairarapa 1,733 0.2% 38
Nelson Marlborough 4,329 0.6% 28
West Coast 963 0.4% 30
Canterbury 16,446 0.6% 29
South Canterbury 2,037 0.8% 34
Southern 12,590 1.3% 38
Unknown  9,278 0.9% -
Total 173,671 0.7% 35

Tests by ethnicity

COVID-19 tests by ethnicity from 22 January to 9 May
Ethnicity Total people tested  Positive % Test rate per 1,000 people
Māori 29,311 0.3% 38
Pacific 14,830 0.4% 46
Asian 17,178 0.6% 22
Other 108,781 0.8% 35
Unknown 3,571 1.3% -
Total 173,671 0.7% 35

COVID-19 tests rates per 1,000 people by DHB and ethnicity from 22 January to 9 May 2020
DHB Maori Pacific Asian Other
Northland 40 26 19 30
Waitematā 38 44 22 35
Auckland 36 43 19 37
Counties Manukau 40 52 24 34
Waikato 38 41 29 38
Lakes 31 33 18 33
Bay of Plenty 30 74 17 28
Tairāwhiti 65 60 18 40
Hawke's Bay 34 39 22 37
Taranaki 39 38 25 33
Mid Central 22 25 17 29
Whanganui 36 40 35 43
Capital and Coast 36 34 20 36
Hutt Valley 36 32 23 35
Wairarapa 42 37 23 37
Nelson Marlborough 26 25 21 29
West Coast 31 17 25 30
Canterbury 29 33 23 29
South Canterbury 33 59 32 34
Southern 35 53 24 39
Total 38 46 22 35

COVID-19 positive test rate by DHB and ethnicity from 22 January to 9 May 2020
DHB Maori Pacific Asian Other Unknown
Northland 0.3% 1.0% 0.0% 0.6% -
Waitematā 0.6% 1.0% 0.7% 0.7% -
Auckland 0.3% 0.3% 0.7% 1.1% -
Counties Manukau 0.1% 0.2% 0.6% 0.7% -
Waikato 0.5% 0.0% 1.1% 1.0% -
Lakes 0.3% 0.0% 0.6% 0.2% -
Bay of Plenty 0.1% 0.0% 0.3% 0.4% -
Tairāwhiti 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.3% -
Hawke's Bay 0.2% 1.6% 1.0% 0.7% -
Taranaki 0.0% 0.0% 0.6% 0.3% -
Mid Central 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.7% -
Whanganui 0.0% 0.0% 0.9% 0.2% -
Capital and Coast 0.2% 0.0% 0.5% 0.9% -
Hutt Valley 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.4% -
Wairarapa 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.3% -
Nelson Marlborough 0.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.7% -
West Coast 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.5% -
Canterbury 0.3% 1.3% 0.5% 0.6% -
South Canterbury 0.6% 0.0% 3.7% 0.7% -
Southern 1.4% 0.5% 0.6% 1.3% -
Unknown 0.1% 0.0% 0.5% 1.0% 1.3%
Total 0.3% 0.4% 0.6% 0.8% 1.3%

COVID-19 testing in Alert Levels 3 and 2 to support New Zealand’s elimination strategy

This paper provides an overview of the Ministry of Health’s approach to testing for COVID-19 throughout Alert Level 3 and into Alert Level 2. 

The four objectives of this testing approach are:

  • Quickly identifying all cases of COVID-19, in order isolate them and trace and quarantine their contacts, including as part of managing cluster outbreaks
  • Ensuring that access to testing is equitable – for Mâori and Pacific people and other priority groups, as well as across the country.
  • Identify any undetected community spread in New Zealand
  • Monitoring for any COVID-19 in people at higher risk of exposure to help ensure the safety systems in place are working.

This testing approach is part of the broader surveillance plan for COVID-19 that the Ministry of Health, DHBs and the All-Of-Government group are implementing to both address and monitor our progress in eliminating COVID-19. 

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