COVID-19 Get tested in Taranaki. Early detection saves lives

22 April 2020

Community testing for COVID-19 is ramping up around Taranaki with a number of ways people can get tested.

Taranaki DHB’s medical officer of health, Dr Jonathan Jarman says “The more testing we do of people with symptoms, the more confidence we’ll have there is no community transmission. Early detection saves lives.

“Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to a range of other illnesses such as cold or flu and do not necessarily mean that you have COVID-19. Shortness of breath is a sign of possible pneumonia and required immediate medical attention.”

COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature (at least 38°C)
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sneezing and runny nose
  • temporary loss of smell.

Taranaki DHB’s Incident Management Team controller, Becky Jenkins says “There has been an increase in symptomatic COVID-19 testing throughout the region at the current testing clinics and soon it will be easier for people to get tested. Until now people have been referred for testing by Healthline or their GP, but starting this week people have the option to contact one of the region’s testing clinics directly.

There are four testing clinics in Taranaki including New Plymouth, Hawera, Waitara and Opunake. Ms Jenkins says “People can now call or text these clinics to get an appointment, which is recommended rather than turning up. The team will discuss if you are suitable for a test and an appropriate time will be arranged for you to come in and be tested. If you can’t access one of the clinics our team will help find another solution for you.”

Details of the testing clinic locations and opening hours can be found at the end of this media release or on Taranaki DHB’s COVID-10 webpage. Please note, the COVID-19 testing centres cannot provide medical treatment of any kind, including influenza vaccinations. You need to contact your general practice, doctor or pharmacy for this.

Taranaki DHB is also working with the Māori provider network to put additional testing into more Maori communities.

Taranaki DHB’s general manager for Maori Health, Ngawai Henare, says “We are working with Ngaruahine, Ngati Ruanui and Tui Ora Maori Health providers to help set up and deliver a range of outreach options that will take testing closer to homes and where necessary into the homes of Māori throughout rural Taranaki.

“This is being positively reflected in our statistics where Māori make up 20.7% of testing (in excess of Māori population of 18.7%).”

Supporting Information (as at 11am on 22 April)

  • 1619 tests have been completed in Taranaki. The test rate is currently 13.16 per 1000 population
  • The test rate for South Taranaki Local Authority Area is 15.17 per 1000 which is higher than the district as a whole
  • Percentage of testing by ethnicity - Māori 20.75% (in excess of Māori population of 18.7%)
  • Test rates are increasing. Average number of tests per day (1 March to 21 April) is 31.13. Since 1 April the number of average tests per day is 59.38.

COVID-19 Testing clinics in Taranaki:


Base Hospital, David Street, Westown, New Plymouth
Located in the old St Johns Ambulance building
Phone/text: 027 380 1433 please call or text in advance
Open 7 days, 10am-4pm


Ngati Ruanui Healthcare, 41 Hunter Street, Hawera
Located at the back entrance of Medical Centre
Phone/text: 027 380 0894 please call or text in advance
Open 7 days, 10am-4pm


Waitara Health Centre, 26 Grey Street, Waitara
Phone: (06) 754 8119 please call in advance
Monday - Friday, 8.30am–5.30pm


Opunake Health Centre/Coastal Care, 26 Napier Street, Opunake
Phone: (06) 761 7324 please call in advance
Monday - Friday, 8.30am–4.30pm


Last updated: Thursday, April 23, 2020

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