Last Updated: 04 September 2020


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COVID-19 symptoms?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to common illnesses such as a cold or influenza. You may have one or more of the following:

  • a new or worsening cough, fever (at least 38˚C), shortness of breath, a sore throat, sneezing and runny nose, temporary loss of smell.
  • Some people may have less typical symptoms such as only: fever, diarrhoea, headache, myalgia (muscle pain), nausea/vomiting, or confusion/irritability.
  • Symptoms can take up to 14 days to show after a person has been infected. The virus can be passed onto others before they know they have it – from up to two days before symptoms develop.

Call your medical centre if you’re feeling unwell or have any one of the COVID-19 symptoms. They will talk with you and arrange for you to be assessed and/or tested.

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.

Healthline also has access to interpreters if you need one.

Please tell them if you have travelled overseas recently, have been in contact with someone who has recently travelled, or are a close contact of a confirmed case.

What are Community Testung Centres?

Community Testing Centres are where you can go to have a free COVID-19 test. You need to have some symptoms to be tested and be referred by either your medical centre or Healthline.

I’ve been referred to a Community Testing Centre

  • Our staff will call you and arrange a time for you to be tested. Please take your phone with you to your appointment (so we can call you or text you).
  • When you arrive, let our traffic team (they’ll be in hi-vis) know you have an appointment and follow their directions on where to park.
  • Please wait in your car with the windows up, you will be tested while sitting in your car. The staff member testing you will wear personal protective equipment (for example mask, gown, face shield and gloves) and may ask you questions about your symptoms, general health and living situation.
  • Once you have been tested, you will be given information about staying at home and sent home.
  • Results can take up to 3 working days. Due to the high levels of testing, it may take some time for you to get your results. Please be patient – health services and labs are working as quickly as possible. If you provided us with your medical centre they will receive a copy of your result.
  • If your result is negative, and you have provided us with your mobile phone number, we will text you to tell the result is negative. Or we will call you on the landline number you provided.
  • If your result is positive our local Public Health Unit will ring you immediately and advise next steps.

I’ve driven or walked up without a referral

  • Please tell our traffic management team (in Hi-Vis) that you do not have an appointment, follow their directions on where to wait in your car, or somewhere safe (if you walked up)
  • One of our friendly team will come and speak to you to see if you need to be tested.


  •  Some countries require travellers to confirm a negative COVID-19 test before they leave New Zealand. You can check the requirements of the country you are travelling to, by contacting their local High Commission, Embassy or Consulate in New Zealand.
  • If you need a COVID-19 test prior to departure please see the Ministry of Health’s Advice for travellers. We do not provide pre-departure testing at our Community Testing Centres.

What happens if I can’t get to a COMMUNITY TESTING CENTRE by car?

We know some people do not have access to a car or are too unwell to drive. Let staff know this when you’re making an appointment and they will talk through how we can get you tested.


Click here for Community Testing Locations in the Hutt Valley