COVID-19 - Testing rates for ethnicity and DHB

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Testing rate data

This information was updated on 31 May with data to 27 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 27 May 2020
DHB Total people tested  Positive % Test rate per 1,000 people
Northland 9,693 0.3% 53
Waitematā 31,493 0.5% 50
Auckland 25,966 0.6% 47
Counties Manukau 31,396 0.3% 55
Waikato 23,870 0.6% 56
Lakes 5,047 0.2% 46
Bay of Plenty 10,170 0.3% 42
Tairāwhiti 3,322 0.2% 67
Hawke's Bay 8,073 0.4% 48
Taranaki 5,557 0.2% 46
Mid Central 7,331 0.4% 40
Whanganui 3,661 0.1% 56
Capital and Coast 14,835 0.5% 46
Hutt Valley 6,737 0.2% 45
Wairarapa 2,139 0.2% 46
Nelson Marlborough 6,319 0.4% 42
West Coast 1,455 0.3% 45
Canterbury 21,984 0.4% 38
South Canterbury 2,821 0.5% 47
Southern 15,492 1.1% 46
Unknown 9,934 0.9% -
Total 247,295 0.5% 50

Tests by ethnicity

COVID-19 tests by ethnicity from 22 January to 27 May 2020
Ethnicity  Total people tested  Positive % Test rate per 1,000 people
Māori 43,812 0.2% 56
Pacific 22,704 0.2% 71
Asian 25,075 0.5% 33
Other 153,704 0.5% 50
Unknown 2,000 2.5% -
Total 247,295 0.5% 50

COVID-19 tests rates per 1,000 people by DHB and ethnicity from 22 January to 27 May 2020
DHB Māori Pacific Asian Other
Northland 65 44 29 49
Waitematā 56 69 35 52
Auckland 56 66 28 56
Counties Manukau 65 83 35 50
Waikato 62 60 43 56
Lakes 48 52 32 46
Bay of Plenty 46 85 24 42
Tairāwhiti 80 77 30 55
Hawke's Bay 49 90 30 47
Taranaki 50 52 37 46
Mid Central 38 40 24 43
Whanganui 54 67 40 57
Capital and Coast 50 48 27 50
Hutt Valley 48 44 30 47
Wairarapa 52 43 32 46
Nelson Marlborough 43 38 29 42
West Coast 45 44 53 44
Canterbury 41 47 31 39
South Canterbury 43 87 47 47
Southern 44 63 29 48
Total 56 71 33 50

COVID-19 test positivity rate by DHB and ethnicity from 22 January to 27 May 2020
DHB Māori Pacific Asian Other Unknown
Northland 0.2% 0.6% 0.0% 0.4% -
Waitematā 0.5% 0.6% 0.5% 0.5% -
Auckland 0.2% 0.2% 0.5% 0.7% -
Counties Manukau 0.1% 0.1% 0.4% 0.5% -
Waikato 0.3% 0.1% 0.7% 0.7% -
Lakes 0.2% 0.0% 0.3% 0.2% -
Bay of Plenty 0.1% 0.0% 0.2% 0.4% -
Tairāwhiti 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.3% -
Hawke's Bay 0.1% 0.7% 0.7% 0.5% -
Taranaki 0.0% 0.0% 0.4% 0.2% -
Mid Central 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.5% -
Whanganui 0.0% 0.0% 0.8% 0.1% -
Capital and Coast 0.2% 0.0% 0.4% 0.6% -
Hutt Valley 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.3% -
Wairarapa 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.2% -
Nelson Marlborough 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.4% -
West Coast 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.3% -
Canterbury 0.2% 0.8% 0.4% 0.4% -
South Canterbury 0.4% 0.0% 2.5% 0.5% -
Southern 1.2% 0.5% 0.7% 1.1% -
Unknown 0.1% 0.0% 0.7% 0.7% 2.5%
Total 0.2% 0.2% 0.5% 0.5% 2.5%

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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