| 27 Feb 2022


There are 44 new COVID-19 cases reported in South Canterbury today:

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

Today’s cases by Territorial Local Authorities (TLA)

  • Timaru District - 27
  • Mackenzie District - 2
  • Waimate District - 3
  • Unknown* – 12.

*Normal place of residence has not yet been identified.

With the number of cases in South Canterbury increasing and the higher prevalence of COVID-19 throughout New Zealand, 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.

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


Timaru COVID-19 Testing Clinic:

  • 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.


With cases escalating in the community the South Canterbury DHB is urging people who are due for their booster to get it as soon as possible in order to reduce your chance of serious illness and hospitalisation.

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/.


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. Follow these simple steps to help slow the spread of the virus and help protect you, your whānau, and your community from COVID-19.

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