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Weak positive Covid result in Wellington wastewater testing

Weak positive Covid result in Wellington wastewater testing

Posted May 16, 2021

Media Release: MInistry of Health

ESR undertakes regular wastewater testing across sites in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Rotorua, Hamilton and Queenstown as an additional surveillance tool in the fight against COVID-19.

Late on Friday 14 May, ESR reported there had been a weak positive test result from a sample taken in Wellington. A follow-up sample yesterday returned a second weak positive result.

Based on experience, it is most likely that the two weak positive results are due to recently recovered cases continuing to shed the virus.

In recent weeks three recovered cases who live in the Wellington region have left the Auckland quarantine facility. A further historical case left a Wellington managed isolation facility the same day the second sample was taken.

Additionally, it is possible that one or more recently recovered cases from elsewhere could have flown into Wellington.

ESR consider a single recovered person shedding the virus may be detected in wastewater.

As part of ongoing precautionary approach, and to help rule out undetected COVID-19 infection, the Ministry of Health is encouraging anyone with symptoms, especially if they are in the Wellington region to get tested promptly.…/covid-19…/about-covid-19…

This advice also applies to recent visitors to the Wellington region. Anyone who develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should call Healthline ( 0800 358 5453 ) or their doctor, or visit a testing station to get a test.

Testing sites in the Wellington region open today are:

Wellington central, 196-200 Taranaki St

Today: 10am – 4pm; booking centre operates 9am – 4.30pm; 0800 885 022

Porirua, 178 Bedford Street, Cannons Creek

Today: 2pm – 5pm; walk-ins accepted, though bookings preferred; 0508 672 862

Hutt Valley testing call centre

The testing centre opens again on Monday 17 May. Bookings are able to be made today (Sunday) from 1.30pm – 4pm 04 576 8619

Wellington Region Primary Health Organisations will extend testing centre hours if required.

It’s important to remember the basic public health measures which keep communities protected: wear a mask on public transport, stay home when sick, wash hands frequently and use good sneeze and cough etiquette.

Lastly, it’s critically important individuals keep a record of where they’ve been by scanning QR codes or keeping a manual diary of their movements. It can help contact tracers quickly find potential close and casual contacts if there is a positive COVID-19 case.

Further wastewater samples in Wellington are being tested.


The Ministry of Health’s current assessment remains that the public health risk to New Zealand from the Melbourne community case announced on Tuesday 11 May is low.

At this stage the Ministry is recommending that Quarantine Free Travel, between New Zealand the state of Victoria can continue with certain additional precautions in place.

Information and advice for anyone who was at one of the locations of interest in Melbourne at the specified times including advice for anyone who has travelled to New Zealand from Melbourne since May 6 is here:…/quarantine-free-travel…

Testing information

The total number of tests processed by laboratories to date is 2,080,353.

On Saturday, 2,942 tests were processed. The seven-day rolling average up to yesterday is 3,671 tests processed.

For all testing locations nationwide visit the Healthpoint website.

There are no new cases of COVID-19 to report in the community in New Zealand today.

There is one new case to report in a recent returnee in managed isolation facilities, since the Ministry’s last update Friday.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases detected at the border is one.

No previously reported cases have recovered . The total number of active cases in New Zealand today is 19.

The total number of confirmed cases is 2,290.

Since 1 January 2021, there have been 60 historical cases, out of a total of 474 cases.