Weak positive result in Wellington wastewater testing

The Ministry of Health today reported there has been a weak positive test result from a sample taken in Wellington.

Wastewater testing results in Wellington

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 our 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.

Further wastewater samples in Wellington are being tested over the weekend.

Advice for people living in Wellington and recent visitors

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

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

Testing sites in the Wellington region open today

Wellington central

196-200 Taranaki St

Open Sunday 16 May from 10am – 4pm

Booking centre operates 9am – 4.30pm

Call 0800 885 022


178 Bedford Street, Cannons Creek

Open Sunday 16 May from 2pm – 5pm

Walk-ins accepted, though bookings preferred

Call 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

Call 04 576 8619

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

Good health behaviours help protect our community

It’s important to remember the basic public health measures which keep communities protected:

  • wear a mask on public transport
  • stay home when sick
  • washing hands frequently and
  • using 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.

Latest update on COVID-19 cases

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 our managed isolation facilities, since the Ministry’s last update Friday.

Read the latest update from the Ministry of Health (external link)