Auckland woman frustrated COVID-19 test 'unable to be processed' after 'anxious' five day wait, has to test again

An Auckland woman is "frustrated" and "disappointed" with the COVID-19 testing system after it took five days for her to be notified that her test was neither positive nor negative - it was "unable to be processed" - and she needed to queue up again.

Dani told Newshub she followed health advice to go and get a COVID-19 test after realising she had been at a location of interest - AUT's North Campus - on August 16.

She waited almost five hours in line to get tested at the Northcote pop-up testing centre on August 23 and expected it to take at most three days for her results to be processed and relayed to her.

But after five days with no results, she began to get "anxious" and "paranoid" that she had done something wrong.

"I was getting a little bit worried as I knew some people who got theirs done and got their results back the day after, or at the most three days. At first, I thought that I had given the nurses the wrong information," she said. 

Dani said she called her GP and Healthline for advice but they each referred her to the other. It wasn't until hours later she finally received a message about her results.

"Kia ora [Dani], Your COVID test done on 23-Aug was unable to be processed. Please come back to your nearest testing site to get re-swabbed. We apologise for the inconvenience," the message reads.

Dani said she was "disappointed" she waited five days for that to be the result and she had to get tested again. She told Newshub it also put extra strain on the people in her household bubble who were isolating as a precaution.

"This is just really frustrating," she said.

"My family needs to get essentials - groceries. I would much rather wait a week to find out my test results than to get re-swabbed and wait for another two weeks… I just hope this doesn't happen to anyone else." 

She said she doesn't know what happened to the test and why it couldn't be processed.

"At the moment, we cannot afford to make mistakes because every life counts."

A spokesperson for the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC), which is running the regional response for the Northland and metro Auckland DHBs said "record numbers" of Aucklanders have been getting tested and their teams are working hard to make sure people are getting their test results as quickly as possible.

"We are aiming to get test results back to people between two and five days," they said.

"Although the performance of our testing system is extremely good, there are a small number of instances when a re-test is required. In each case, we take action to contact the person to ensure they can get re-swabbed as soon as possible.

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