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Getting tested for COVID-19

  • You should only get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms or you are a household contact of a positive case

  • Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) are now the most common method of testing with PCR tests used for people who need them most.

  • Critical workers who are household contacts will still be able to use RATs to return to work. Your employer will advise you of whether you are a critical worker.

Testing positive for COVID-19

  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you will need to isolate for 10 days. You will be sent a test with a link to complete an online form which will help identify high-risk locations and people you have come into close contact with.

  • If you don’t have a mobile, you will be contacted by a contact tracer, or primary carer, Māori, Iwi Pasifika health provider.

  • You can leave isolation after 10 days if you are symptom free – you do not need a negative test.


If you live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you are a household contact who will need to:

  • Self-isolate from the day the person with COVID-19 tests positive or is notified as a probable case until they complete their 10-days of isolation.

  • Get a test on Day 3 and Day 10 of the isolation period, or sooner if you develop symptoms. If you are a household contact and you test positive, you will need to isolate for 10 days.

Close contacts do not need to isolate however you should monitor for symptoms for 10 days. If you develop symptoms, get a test.

Support for people in self-isolation

If you are self-isolating at home, you can get help if you need essential supplies like food or medicine by calling the Work and Income COVID-19 Welfare line – 0800 512 337.


For more information about support whilst in isolation, click here

Where to get a COVID-19 Test

In Whanganui and our surrounding rohe, there are a number of collection and testing sites. To learn more or to find out where to go for a RATs test, click here 

Accessing General Practice:

All General Practices are open; however things may run differently. If you need to see your GP, please contact them directly and follow their instructions.

COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters:

All those 18 years and over who have received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine three months ago are now eligible to receive a booster vaccine.​

If you or someone in your family are due for your booster vaccine, or if you are unsure if you're due to have your booster, head to the

COVID-19 Symptoms

Symptoms can include one or more of the following:

  • a new or worsening cough

  • sneezing and runny nose

  • a fever

  • temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste

  • sore throat

  • shortness of breath.


Less common symptoms may include:

  • diarrhoea

  • headache

  • muscle pain or body aches

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • malaise — a general feeling of discomfort, illness or unease

  • chest pain

  • abdominal pain

  • joint pain

  • confusion or irritability.


These less common symptoms almost always occur with one or more of the common symptoms.


These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19. The symptoms are like other illnesses that are much more common, such as colds and flu.


Shortness of breath is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.


Time for symptoms to appear

Symptoms tend to arise around 2 to 5 days after a person is infected, but symptoms can take up to 14 days to show. A person with COVID-19 can pass it on to others from up to 2 days before showing symptoms.

Sometimes people may have COVID-19, but not have any symptoms.


Long COVID describes the symptoms that continue or develop after the initial COVID-19 symptoms. This is usually longer than 4 weeks after a person is first infected.


Most people who get COVID-19 recover completely. However, some people report a range of symptoms beyond the standard time of recovery.


Symptoms of long COVID can persist for weeks or sometimes months. They can include:

  • fatigue

  • shortness of breath

  • cough

  • low mood

  • headaches

  • difficulty concentrating, cognitive impairment or 'brain fog'

  • chest pain

  • joint pain

  • muscle aches and pains

  • muscle weakness

  • ongoing changes to smell or taste

  • fast-beating or a 'pounding' heart

  • sleep disturbances.


For support with management and treatment of long COVID, seek help from your doctor or healthcare team.


You can find more information about long COVID on the Ministry of Health website. ()


When out and about, remember to:

  • Wear your mask everywhere you go.

  • Scan into every establishment or business you visit - including the supermarkets and service stations.

  • Wash your hands well and often with soap and hot water and if you can't access soap and water, sanitise.


 There are a number of  Rapid Antigen Testing distribution locations in our rohe. Find out where you can get one here!

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A whanau resource to help prepare for COVID-19 in our community

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Check out these awesome resources from our Iwi Collective; Te Ranga Tupua

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