Some Covid-19 test results are taking longer than two days to be returned, according to the Ministry of Health.
It said tests are taking longer to process at laboratories due to an increase in demand at testing centres, especially in Auckland.
“Some results are being returned within 48 hours, but others are taking longer. People are required to stay home until they receive a negative result,” the ministry said.
“Aucklanders are being advised to expect these delays and not to call Healthline to check the status of a test result. Healthline is not able to provide this information.”
Health officials said there was unnecessary testing occurring, including from people who didn’t have symptoms and were getting tested for reassurance.
“It’s very important that you only get tested if you have cold or flu symptoms, have been identified as a close contact of a case, or have been asked to get tested by a health official.”
The ministry said unnecessary testing is resulting in long waits for testing and could delay results for those who urgently need them.
Earlier, the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre said that up to 70 per cent of those queuing in Auckland had no symptoms.
There are also overall delays in notifying test results. The Ministry of Health’s My Covid Record website is requesting people who see a positive result to be patient in awaiting for contact tracing instructions.
“If you see a positive Covid-19 test result and have not yet received your text or a phone call with instructions, please note this can take 24 hours.”
Test results can be checked online on at My Covid Record.
Health officials said most cases would no longer receive a phone call and would be texted a link to fill out information for contact tracing.
“In most instances you will not receive a phone call unless public health need further information,” the ministry said.