Assessment and testing for COVID-19

People with any of the COVID-19 symptoms should get assessed. Find out who to contact and how testing works.

Getting assessed

Who should get assessed for COVID-19?

People with any of the COVID-19 symptoms should get assessed.

For details of the symptoms see About COVID-19.

For urgent medical care please call 111. 

Who to contact

Call your doctor if you are feeling unwell or have any one of the COVID-19 symptoms. They will talk with you and arrange for you to be assessed if they think this is needed. This assessment will be based on your symptoms and circumstances.

If your doctor cannot assess you then you may be referred to a community based assessment centre run by the district health board in your area. Ask your doctor to give you a note or send you a text or email saying you have been recommended for assessment. You can show this note or text to staff at the assessment centre.

You can also call Healthline on 0800 358 5453. This is free and you can call any time, it is open all day every day. Someone will talk with you about your symptoms and arrange for you to be assessed and tested if they think this is needed. Healthline also has access to interpreters if you need one.

Community based assessment centres

Your district health board has set up community based assessment centres in your area.

Different centres have different rules:

  • By appointment - some centres do assessments by appointment from your doctor or Healthline.
  • Drive in or walk in - other centres allow people to drive in or walk in without an appointment, as long as you have at least one of the symptoms.

When you get to the centre you might have to wait in your car or in a waiting area for a while as they assess and test people in the queue ahead of you.

During your assessment the doctor or nurse will ask you questions about your:

  • symptoms
  • general health
  • living situation.

Depending on your symptoms and circumstances, they may decide you do not need to be tested for COVID-19 at this time and will send you home. If you do need to be tested for COVID-19, they will tell you what to do next.

If you are sent home and your symptoms get worse, then contact your doctor or Healthline again and explain.

Getting tested

Information on testing, including why it's critical and how it works, is provided on the COVID-19 website - COVID-19 testing.

You will be asked to self-isolate at home and minimise contact with others in your household while you wait for the test result. Others in your house only need to self-isolate while you wait for results if you are a close contact of a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19.

Read more about close contacts and contact tracing

Having a support person while getting tested

You can ask someone to help you get to the doctor and be with you while you are being assessed and tested.

If you need to visit the hospital, you can ask someone to help you get to there. If you need someone with you at the hospital, you or your support person should call ahead and discuss this with the doctor or nurse at the hospital.

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