SDHB: 59 new community cases for Queenstown-Lakes

by Kim Bowden - Feb 23, 2022

The Southern District Health Board continues to warn of high numbers of Covid-positive people in Queenstown today, as pressure on staff at laboratories processing Covid tests eases as more rapid antigen tests (RATs) become available.

Health officials are reporting 455 new cases across the region – 59 of them in the Queenstown-Lakes area.

It brings the number of total active cases in the region to 1,145, and in Queenstown-Lakes to 329.


Current cases as of 11.59pm 22 February 2022 reported by the Ministry of Health (Source SDHB)


Total new cases 

Total active cases 

Southern District 



Central Otago 



















Please note, the Ministry of Health’s daily reported cases may differ slightly from those reported at a DHB or local public health unit level. This is because of different reporting cut off times and the assignment of cases between regions, for example when a case is tested outside their usual region of residence. Total numbers will always be the formal daily case tally as reported to the WHO. Also, not all confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Southern district have been confirmed by location as of the publishing of this update. As case numbers grow this is likely to occur more frequently.  


The SDHB yesterday reported labs were at capacity throughout the Southern region.

However, in a statement today, the SDHB says pressure has eased with the introduction of RATs at community-based testing centres.

Anyone who tests positive using an RAT does not need to have the result confirmed by a PCR test, and they need to update their My Covid Record with the result.

“The move to broader RAT usage makes best use of available resources and ensures we are able to identify as many Covid-19 positive cases as quickly as possible and ensure they isolate and receive appropriate care.”

Asymptomatic critical workers classed as close contacts can use RATs to clear them to return to work early as part of a Government exemption scheme – collections points for these RATs is not at community testing centres.

A rapid antigen test provides a result in approximately 15 minutes.

In Queenstown, qualifying businesses with correct paperwork can pick up tests kits from the Queenstown Events Centre and in Wānaka, at Aspiring Medical Centre.

Meanwhile, PCR test results are taking approximately two-and-a-half days, with the longest wait, just over three days, the SDHB says.

"Please be patient and continue to self-isolate while you wait for your results."

Covid is widespread, especially in Dunedin and Queenstown, and anyone runs the risk of being exposed - but only those who have symptoms or who have been asked to get tested should do so, the SDHB says.

“We need to ensure those who are symptomatic, or a close contact, get access to testing.”

Testing locations can be found on the WellSouth website

Main image: People queue at a drive-through community testing centre in Frankton, February 2022.

Advertise with Crux Advertise with Crux