| 26 Feb 2022


There are 20 new COVID-19 cases reported in South Canterbury today:

  • 20 positive PCR and Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).

Today’s cases by Territorial Local authorities (TLA)

  • Timaru District - 13
  • Mackenzie District - 0
  • Waimate District - 3
  • Unknown* – 4.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in South Canterbury can be located on the Ministry of Health website.

With a higher prevalence of COVID-19 throughout New Zealand and the number of cases in South Canterbury increasing, we should all act as if Omicron is spreading within our community. The South Canterbury DHB urges everyone in South Canterbury to be vigilant and get tested if they develop any symptoms of COVID-19.

*Normal place of residence has not yet been identified.


Timaru COVID-19 Testing Clinic:

  • Saturday 26 February from 9am - 3pm - Timaru Medical Centre car park, 45 Heaton Street, Timaru
  • Sunday 27 February from 9am - 3pm - Timaru Medical Centre car park, 45 Heaton Street, Timaru
  • Monday 28 February from 9am - 3pm - Baptist Church, 17 Wilson Street, Timaru.

No appointments are required to be tested.

Due to increase demand the Timaru COVID-19 Testing Clinic and Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) collection site will be moving to a new location from Tuesday 1March. Further details about the location and operating hours will follow on Monday 28 February.

In order to protect our health services such as General Practice and the Emergency Department, we ask the community to assist with this by getting tested at the COVID-19 Testing Clinic.

If you live outside of Timaru, or need clinical advice about whether you need a test, please phone your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and they will advise where you can get tested.


If you are positive for COVID-19 you will get a text message from 2328 with a link to an online form you need to fill out. This form will help with notification of your close contacts and will provide information to your health team about any health needs you may have.


People living in South Canterbury are reminded to get vaccinated if they have not already. Everyone aged 5 years and over is eligible for free COVID-19 vaccination. Booster doses are also now available to anyone aged 18+ who had their second dose 3 month ago.

Click here for a full list of vaccination clinics in South Canterbury, including those taking walk ins. Or you can visit the Healthpoint website www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19-vaccination/south-canterbury/.


New Zealand is now in Phase 3 of the Omicron response as the national daily case numbers are now in the thousands and are forecasted to rise sharply during the next few weeks.

In Phase 3 the Ministry of Health is now prioritising the publication of high-risk locations of interest.

It is important to note that not all locations of interest that are high-risk will be published when contact tracers can identify all close contacts through other means, such as schools.

The move to Phase 3 is to slow the spread and avoid a large surge in cases, while we protect our most vulnerable, ensure critical services and supply chains can continue to operate, our economy keeps moving and to ease pressure on our health system.

Phase 3 key changes:

  • Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) will be the primary form of testing in the community
  • Cases will be identified via a positive PCR or RAT and will need to isolate for 10 days
  • Close contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate unless they have symptoms. Only confirmed cases and household contacts of a confirmed case will be required to do so
  • Confirmed cases should isolate for 10 days but can now self-release after day 10, providing any testing requirements are met
  • Household contacts will need to isolate for 10 days and are required to test on days three and 10.  If they develop symptoms, they are encouraged to test sooner. Their entire household is should be symptom-free before being able to self-release
  • Workers in critical workforces, including healthcare, who are household contacts will be able to use RATs to confirm they are able to return to work. This is part of the Critical Worker Close Contact Exemption Scheme.


Now that we have COVID-19 in South Canterbury, we are all at risk of being exposed. These simple steps can slow the spread of the virus and help protect you, your whānau, and your community from COVID-19.

  • Stay home if you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, and get a test
  • Get vaccinated as soon as you can
  • Regularly wash and thoroughly dry your hands or use hand sanitiser
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow
  • Clean or disinfect shared surfaces often
  • Improve ventilation indoors by opening windows to increase fresh air flow
  • Keep a safe distance from people you do not know while out and about
  • Wear a mask
  • Keep track of where you have been with the NZ COVID Tracer app
  • Have My Vaccine Pass ready for places that require proof of vaccination to enter, like cafes, bars, gyms and hairdressers.


Media contact:
Karen Berry
Communications Manager
South Canterbury District Health Board
P: 03 687 2395 | M: 021 139 7442