Testing for COVID-19

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

Last updated 1pm 15 January 2021.

All data on this page is as at 9:00am 15 January 2021 unless otherwise stated.

Change to the updating schedule for this page

Data on this page is now updated four times per week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Media updates are issued on the same days.

Data is collected from the EpiSurv database (administered by ESR) unless otherwise stated. 

On this page:

See also:

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 1085 6918
People working at the border, in managed facilities, or near people travelling internationally 941 5221
Within New Zealand, not linked to the border 2277 13189
Other 55 243
Total 4358 25571
COVID-19 testing status
  Total
All COVID-19 viral tests administered* 1,457,076
Testing kits in stock (updated Mon-Fri only) 221,618

* Covers the period from 22 January 2020 (first test in New Zealand) to 15 January 2021. Note that some people are tested more than once.

Testing results from 22 January 2020* to 15 January 2021
Test results In managed facilities Within NZ communities Total
Tested positive for COVID-19 635 1874 2509
Tested negative (no COVID-19) 154873 1299451 1454324
Inconclusive result for COVID-19 4 239 243
Total (all tests) 155512 1301564 1457076

* 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 14 Dec to 20 Dec 21 Dec to 27 Dec 28 Dec to 3 Jan 4 Jan to 10 Jan
Managed isolation and quarantine facilities 5925 5344 6375 6283
Auckland 4107 3104 2412 2956
Bay of Plenty 974 659 690 735
Canterbury 2523 1952 1574 2182
Capital and Coast 1379 940 728 948
Counties Manukau 4636 3298 2783 3041
Hawkes Bay 340 306 241 267
Hutt Valley 455 327 245 315
Lakes 454 261 296 319
MidCentral 459 372 404 422
Nelson Marlborough 460 336 236 421
Northland 390 285 224 329
South Canterbury 172 103 74 133
Southern 1144 896 643 932
Tairāwhiti 151 83 93 134
Taranaki 303 259 146 270
Waikato 1338 964 754 1013
Wairarapa 124 70 49 86
Waitematā 4002 2764 2208 2744
West Coast 17 38 13 38
Whanganui 84 60 59 80
Unknown 427 280 205 310
Total 29864 22701 20452 23958

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 14 Dec to 20 Dec 21 Dec to 27 Dec 28 Dec to 3 Jan 4 Jan to 10 Jan
Maori 3216 2329 1926 2155
Pacific peoples 2882 2229 2078 2101
Asian 5489 4607 4392 4413
European/Other 16223 11726 9950 13101
Unknown 2054 1810 2106 2188
Total 29864 22701 20452 23958

Testing rate and results by location and ethnicity

All tests by DHB and in managed isolation and quarantine facilities from 22 January 2020 to 15 January 2021
Location Total tests Tested positive (%) Test rate per 1000 people
Managed isolation and quarantine facilities 155512 0.4% NA
Auckland 193298 0.15% 344.87
Bay of Plenty 53209 0.08% 217.57
Canterbury 113069 0.13% 194.07
Capital and Coast 76953 0.16% 236.55
Counties Manukau 232524 0.09% 401.01
Hawkes Bay 31869 0.15% 189.82
Hutt Valley 28448 0.08% 187.36
Lakes 28823 0.03% 258.12
MidCentral 34330 0.1% 188
Nelson Marlborough 28309 0.12% 185.04
Northland 34636 0.1% 188.29
South Canterbury 9710 0.23% 161.41
Southern 64497 0.43% 191.31
Tairāwhiti 11007 0.05% 222.69
Taranaki 21953 0.05% 180.39
Waikato 95491 0.21% 222.55
Wairarapa 8139 0.05% 176.46
Waitematā 206769 0.15% 320.6
West Coast 2889 0.17% 90.45
Whanganui 11060 0.04% 170.01
Unknown 14581 0.32% NA
Total 1457076 0.17% 255.9
Tests by ethnicity from 22 January 2020 to 15 January 2021
Ethnicity* Total test Tested positive (%) Test rate per 1000 people
Māori 211138 0.09% 266.81
Pacific peoples 171987 0.12% 528.55
Asian 216332 0.17% 269.65
European/Other 800949 0.19% 257.51
Unknown 56670 0.37% NA
Total 1457076 0.17% 278.45

* 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 15 January 2021
Location Māori Pacific peoples Asian European/Other
Auckland 363.22 500.64 250.93 371.52
Bay of Plenty 233.83 448.17 168.93 210.49
Canterbury 187.84 249.54 183.83 191.39
Capital and Coast 233.65 279.88 162.37 247.1
Counties Manukau 399.94 669.11 301.24 315.57
Hawke's Bay 187.38 433.15 135.42 178.8
Hutt Valley 182.77 229.94 156.42 188.65
Lakes 273.65 400.38 248.78 239.66
MidCentral 179.37 238.39 124.18 194.09
Nelson Marlborough 185.56 528.75 149.91 178.31
Northland 214.91 213.44 140.5 174.86
South Canterbury 154.17 453.86 164.38 157.96
Southern 170.69 272.16 152.91 194.51
Tairāwhiti 238.4 298.1 248.53 198.26
Taranaki 174.21 265.35 192.05 177.64
Waikato 243.45 302.33 199.44 209.65
Wairarapa 185.88 302.17 184.67 169.49
Waitematā 333.37 487.01 261.3 319.78
West Coast 82.32 184.49 132.41 88.84
Whanganui 166.05 230.19 121.75 171.87
Total 251.12 498 233.09 234.72

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 15 January 2021
Location Māori Pacific peoples Asian European/Other
Auckland 0.07 0.21 0.12 0.15
Bay of Plenty 0.04 0 0.08 0.11
Canterbury 0.07 0.22 0.1 0.13
Capital and Coast 0.06 0 0.11 0.21
Counties Manukau 0.03 0.07 0.09 0.14
Hawke's Bay 0.04 0.14 0.23 0.19
Hutt Valley 0.12 0 0 0.1
Lakes 0.03 0 0.04 0.04
MidCentral 0.05 0 0 0.13
Nelson Marlborough 0.13 0 0 0.13
Northland 0.08 0.12 0 0.11
South Canterbury 0.12 0 0.72 0.22
Southern 0.44 0.16 0.14 0.46
Tairāwhiti 0.02 0 0 0.09
Taranaki 0 0 0.08 0.06
Waikato 0.09 0.05 0.24 0.26
Wairarapa 0.07 0 0 0.05
Waitematā 0.24 0.26 0.11 0.13
West Coast 0 0 0 0.21
Whanganui 0 0 0.51 0.03
Total 0.09 0.12 0.17 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 15 January 2021
Age group Total people tested Tested positive (%) Test rate per 1000 people
0 to 9 125782 0.09% 199.32
10 to 19 128245 0.14% 200.07
20 to 29 266875 0.21% 357.31
30 to 39 261579 0.18% 383.56
40 to 49 212562 0.17% 349.12
50 to 59 208337 0.18% 328.35
60 to 69 151273 0.18% 282.85
70 to 79 69820 0.16% 192.05
80+ 32603 0.18% 174.64
Unknown NA NA% NA
Total 1457076 0.17% 289.72
Tests by sex from 22 January to 15 January 2021
Sex Total people tested Tested positive (%) Test rate per 1000 people
Female 776733 0.16% 305.29
Male 659556 0.18% 265.41
Unknown 20787 0.25% NA
Total 1457076 0.17% 285.58

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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