Please note a website outage is scheduled for Thursday 11 July from 6-8am. We apologise for any inconvenience.

ESR conducts wastewater sampling investigation into COVID-19 community cases

16 February 2021

Wastewater surveillance

ESR are testing additional wastewater samples for the SARS CoV-2 virus from Auckland, Hamilton and New Plymouth as part of investigation into the latest COVID-19 community cases.

The first of the samples were taken on Monday, 15 February, and will continue through the week. They arrived at ESR’s laboratory in Wellington for testing today. It is expected that initial results will be delivered to the Ministry of Health on Wednesday afternoon at the earliest for priority samples, with results following as they are received and tested throughout the week.

In addition, ESR are continuing to collect and analyse sewage samples from other locations routinely (weekly and more frequently) and will report to the Ministry of Health any unexpected positive detections. From last week's samples, ESR had no unexpected positives, including South Auckland on 10 February.

ESR has been conducting routine sampling for many months from Auckland Western and Eastern Interceptors, North Shore (Rosedale), Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington and Christchurch. These are almost always negative for SAR-CoV-2. Detections in these systems may reflect cases in quarantine facilities, or in the absence of cases, potential community cases.