COVID-19: Auckland family wait 9 days for test results despite child being 'close contact' of positive case

An Auckland man is concerned about COVID-19 testing processes after waiting nine days for a result he had to chase, despite one of his children being deemed a close contact to a positive case.

The man, who asked not to be named, his wife and their three children were tested at the Mangere town centre facility on Saturday August 15 after receiving a notification that morning from Southern Cross School in Mangere East about possible transmission.

"Further to yesterday's communication, a student at Southern Cross Campus has been diagnosed as a COVID-19 case. The child is now in quarantine for at least 14 days, and their household is also self-isolating," an email sent to the man on August 15 morning stated.

"Auckland Regional Public Health Service considers your child to be a close contact of the case."

The email says close contacts are staff and children who may have been near the case while the child was potentially infectious.

The family had their tests completed immediately but days went by without hearing either way.

Six days later, on Friday 21 the man's wife "annoyed the doctors" by seeking results. After persisting, she was told her test was negative but was not told the rest of her family's results.

On Monday, the man chased up their GP again and was finally told they were negative.

He says receiving contact a lot sooner could have prevented a lot of worries and is concerned others are also facing delays.

"What is going on? I don't care what race you are, you could be Pakeha, from Africa, or you could be Pacific Island, Indian, Pakistani, I want for all of us who have been through the testing for this to change."

"They're trying to stop community transmission, but there's no communication at all." 

On Monday, Dr Bloomfield told Newshub nine days "is too long" but was confident the delay indicated the test would be negative.

He said positive results are notified automatically from the laboratory to the COVID-19 database accessed by the Ministry of Health, ESR and the public health unit. 

"But still nine days is too long for what will almost certainly be a negative result," he said. 

Another woman, who has family at the same school, told Newshub two of her nephews were asked to be tested and have been waiting more than a week to hear back.

"The risk of spreading is higher when results are taking so long to come by."