Testing for COVID-19

Information on lab testing and capacity and testing rates by ethnicity and DHB.

Last updated 1pm 26 November 2020.

All data on this page is as at 9:00am 26 November 2020 unless otherwise stated.

Data is collected from the EpiSurv database (administered by ESR) unless otherwise stated. This page is updated as new information is available.

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Testing summary, status, and results

COVID-19 viral testing
People tested Test results delivered in past 24 hours Test results delivered during past week
People who travelled internationally 1038 5852
People working at the border, in managed facilities, or near people travelling internationally 1024 5313
Within New Zealand, not linked to the border 6908 32871
Other 113 474
Total 9083 44510
COVID-19 testing status
  Total
All COVID-19 viral tests administered* 1,252,601
Testing kits in stock (updated weekdays only) 245,418

* Covers the period from 22 January 2020 (first test in New Zealand) to 26 November 2020. Note that some people are tested more than once.

Testing results from 22 January 2020* to 26 November 2020
Test results In managed facilities Within NZ communities Total
Tested positive for COVID-19 322 1851 2173
Tested negative (no COVID-19) 110561 1139633 1250194
Inconclusive result for COVID-19 2 232 234
Total (all tests) 110885 1141716 1252601

* First test for COVID-19 in New Zealand was on 22 January 2020. Note that some people are tested more than once.

Number of tests for COVID-19
Daily number of tests completed for COVID-19 (with seven-day rolling average)

Testing over the past 4 weeks

Tests at managed facilities and within the community in district health boards (DHBs)
DHB of Patient Domicile 26 Oct to 1 Nov 2 Nov to 8 Nov 9 Nov to 15 Nov 16 Nov to 22 Nov
Managed isolation and quarantine facilities 5505 5876 5911 5425
Auckland 5032 4902 8503 8523
Bay of Plenty 863 1087 1039 1331
Canterbury 2780 4360 3161 3973
Capital and Coast 1714 1748 2703 2728
Counties Manukau 5400 5579 7126 8286
Hawkes Bay 488 433 422 595
Hutt Valley 574 518 940 929
Lakes 422 574 494 624
MidCentral 624 629 884 863
Nelson Marlborough 537 674 753 768
Northland 435 480 540 733
South Canterbury 133 172 136 213
Southern 1092 1168 1354 1628
Tairāwhiti 204 168 228 236
Taranaki 424 392 397 507
Waikato 1553 1560 2030 2239
Wairarapa 127 113 177 206
Waitematā 5410 4809 7401 8610
West Coast 39 34 33 47
Whanganui 119 112 153 181
Unknown 457 477 525 645
Total 33932 35865 44910 49290

Note: some people are tested more than once. We cannot give you detailed information about tests in your district, city or town, as we must protect the privacy of the people concerned.

Tests by ethnicity
Ethnicity 26 Oct to 1 Nov 2 Nov to 8 Nov 9 Nov to 15 Nov 16 Nov to 22 Nov
Maori 3737 3980 4962 5517
Pacific peoples 3898 3842 4394 5109
Asian 6066 6547 8946 9218
European/Other 17819 19256 24033 26744
Unknown 2412 2240 2575 2702
Total 33932 35865 44910 49290
Tests in managed isolation and quarantine
Test result 26 Oct to 1 Nov 2 Nov to 8 Nov 9 Nov to 15 Nov 16 Nov to 22 Nov
Tested positive for COVID-19 28 16 24 29
Tested negative (no COVID-19) 5477 5860 5887 5396
Inconclusive result for COVID-19 0 0 0 0
Tests within NZ communities
Test result 26 Oct to 1 Nov 2 Nov to 8 Nov 9 Nov to 15 Nov 16 Nov to 22 Nov
Tested positive for COVID-19 5 9 6 4
Tested negative (no COVID-19) 28417 29979 38992 43856
Inconclusive result for COVID-19 5 1 1 5
Total tests
Test result 26 Oct to 1 Nov 2 Nov to 8 Nov 9 Nov to 15 Nov 16 Nov to 22 Nov
Tested positive for COVID-19 33 25 30 33
Tested negative (no COVID-19) 33894 35839 44879 49252
Inconclusive result for COVID-19 5 1 1 5

Testing rate and results by location and ethnicity

All tests by DHB and in managed isolation and quarantine facilities from 22 January 2020 to 26 November 2020
Location Total tests Tested positive (%) Test rate per 1000 people
Managed isolation and quarantine facilities 110885 0.29% NA
Auckland 165851 0.17% 295.9
Bay of Plenty 46671 0.09% 190.84
Canterbury 96024 0.14% 164.81
Capital and Coast 68135 0.18% 209.45
Counties Manukau 201313 0.1% 347.18
Hawkes Bay 29388 0.16% 175.04
Hutt Valley 25555 0.09% 168.31
Lakes 26201 0.05% 234.64
MidCentral 30813 0.1% 168.74
Nelson Marlborough 24937 0.13% 163
Northland 31829 0.1% 173.03
South Canterbury 8686 0.29% 144.39
Southern 57806 0.48% 171.47
Tairāwhiti 10008 0.05% 202.48
Taranaki 19849 0.05% 163.1
Waikato 86683 0.23% 202.02
Wairarapa 7365 0.05% 159.68
Waitematā 179603 0.17% 278.48
West Coast 2684 0.19% 84.03
Whanganui 10473 0.04% 160.98
Unknown 11842 0.4% NA
Total 1252601 0.17% 224.66
Tests by ethnicity from 22 January 2020 to 26 November 2020
Ethnicity* Total test Tested positive (%) Test rate per 1000 people
Māori 189735 0.1% 239.77
Pacific peoples 150754 0.13% 463.3
Asian 177138 0.18% 220.8
European/Other 691902 0.19% 222.45
Unknown 43072 0.31% NA
Total 1252601 0.17% 240.5

* The prioritised ethnicity classification system is used in this table and below. This means each person is allocated to a single ethnic group, based on the ethnic groups they identify with. Where people identify with more than one group, they are assigned in this order of priority: Māori, Pacific Peoples, Asian, and European/Other. So, if a person identifies as being Māori and New Zealand European, the person is counted as Māori. See Ngā tapuae me ngā raraunga: Methods and data sources for further information.

The data categorized by ethnicity come from National Health Index (NHI) data collection, linked to data held in the EpiSurv database.

Testing rates per 1000 people by location and ethnicity from 22 January 2020 to 26 November 2020
Location Māori Pacific peoples Asian European/Other
Auckland 323.58 441.13 206.65 320.74
Bay of Plenty 209.73 393.04 136.79 184.19
Canterbury 162.54 212.12 148.27 163.38
Capital and Coast 210.97 250.54 137.62 219.35
Counties Manukau 358.88 588.54 246.33 273.1
Hawke's Bay 177.18 403.09 117.73 164.04
Hutt Valley 166.75 205.67 132.01 170.58
Lakes 252.96 361.68 207.24 218.3
MidCentral 161.01 212.25 109.11 174.39
Nelson Marlborough 165.59 453.6 125.64 157.73
Northland 202.15 183.95 120.22 159.24
South Canterbury 133.71 399.88 145.89 142.14
Southern 153.2 239.38 132.87 174.8
Tairāwhiti 219.16 268.82 209.29 178.43
Taranaki 159.51 242.12 159.12 161.45
Waikato 225.73 275.77 167.86 190.97
Wairarapa 171.54 287.95 161.31 152.5
Waitematā 297.86 432.55 218.97 278.49
West Coast 77.75 180.48 124.13 82.16
Whanganui 159.39 204.61 113.92 162.65
Total 227.85 439.82 193.25 206.91

Note: some people are tested more than once. We cannot give you detailed information about tests in your district, city or town, as we must protect the privacy of the people concerned.

Percentage of tests returning a positive result by DHB and ethnicity from 22 January to 26 November 2020
Location Māori Pacific peoples Asian European/Other
Auckland 0.08 0.23 0.15 0.17
Bay of Plenty 0.04 0 0.1 0.11
Canterbury 0.08 0.26 0.13 0.14
Capital and Coast 0.05 0 0.12 0.23
Counties Manukau 0.04 0.08 0.12 0.16
Hawke's Bay 0.04 0.15 0.26 0.2
Hutt Valley 0.14 0 0 0.11
Lakes 0.03 0 0.05 0.06
MidCentral 0.05 0 0 0.13
Nelson Marlborough 0.15 0 0 0.15
Northland 0.07 0.14 0 0.13
South Canterbury 0.14 0 0.81 0.29
Southern 0.48 0.18 0.19 0.51
Tairāwhiti 0.02 0 0 0.1
Taranaki 0 0 0.1 0.06
Waikato 0.1 0.05 0.26 0.29
Wairarapa 0.07 0 0 0.05
Waitematā 0.27 0.28 0.12 0.15
West Coast 0 0 0 0.23
Whanganui 0 0 0.55 0.03
Total 0.1 0.13 0.18 0.19

Note: we cannot give the total number of people testing positive per DHB and ethnicity for privacy reasons.


Testing rate and results by age and sex

Tests by age group from 22 January to 26 November 2020
Age group Total people tested Tested positive (%) Test rate per 1000 people
0 to 9 106617 0.09% 168.95
10 to 19 114105 0.14% 178.01
20 to 29 224817 0.21% 301
30 to 39 222808 0.17% 326.71
40 to 49 183508 0.16% 301.4
50 to 59 179471 0.19% 282.85
60 to 69 130908 0.2% 244.77
70 to 79 61323 0.17% 168.68
80+ 29043 0.2% 155.57
Unknown 1 0% NA
Total 1252601 0.17% 249.06
Tests by sex from 22 January to 26 November 2020
Sex Total people tested Tested positive (%) Test rate per 1000 people
Female 674719 0.16% 265.19
Male 560712 0.18% 225.63
Unknown 17170 0.29% NA
Total 1252601 0.17% 245.65

New Zealand's approach to COVID-19 testing

New Zealand has a goal of maintaining the elimination COVID-19 in our country. Planned, targeted testing is one of the tools that can help meet this goal.

COVID-19 is a new disease, so we had to build a completely new testing capability.

There are two types of test for COVID-19:

  • a viral test that shows if you are currently infected with the virus (also called a PCR test)
  • an antibody test that shows whether you were infected before (also known as a serology test).

In New Zealand, the only publicly-available test is the viral test. This test is most reliable for diagnosing COVID-19 if it is taken at the right time (during the first week of the illness).

The first viral test result for COVID-19 was available on 22 January 2020, just over a month before the first case was detected here.

We don’t test without planning. A testing strategy is agreed in advance, based on each stage of the crisis and how we decide to manage it.

Find out more about our testing strategy

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