Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Key Messages
  • COVID-19 testing is now achieved using self administered Rapid Antigen Testing (RATs) available at many community pharmacies across the region.
  • The Community testing centres at 174 Orchard Rd, Whanau Ora at 250 Pages Road and Ashburton (South Street) are now permanently closed.
  • You can no longer order routine PPE supplies direct from CPRG as this is supplied via the MoH centralised distribution programme. Guidance for use of PPE is available on Community HealthPathways. New Ministry guidelines for the use of PPE in healthcare can be found on the MoH website.
  • Healthline’s dedicated COVID-19 phone number is 0800 358 5453 for people concerned about COVID-19. This is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People ringing Healthline to enquire about swabbing will be referred to their general practice or, if after hours or unenrolled, an urgent care facility or testing site.

For more information and resources for general practices, pharmacies and other community health facilities on the COVID-19, go to our COVID-19 Response page, Community HealthPathways, or the Ministry of Health website.


What – or who – is the Primary Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)?

CPRG is responsible for activating, or assembling, the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), which is the team of people on the end of the emails and phones whose aim is to help make sure general practice and community pharmacy are able to look after their patients in an emergency event.

What is an emergency? A health emergency may be a natural or man-made event that suddenly or significantly disrupts the care and treatment of patients; or changes or increases demand for an organisation’s services. It may have no warning, such as an earthquake, or come with prior warning, e.g. a pandemic.

The Primary EOC sits within a structure of other EOCs (such as Hillmorton Hospital, Christchurch Hospital, etc.), under the umbrella of  Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC), all with the objective of managing the emergency response for the Canterbury health system. EOCs are based on the Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS). More information on CIMS can be found here:

The Primary EOC structure for the COVID-19 response was:

Other emergencies

For up-to-date emergency notices across the country, visit the Ministry of Civil Defence website. For local information, the Civil Defence Emergency Management Group website provides information across our district. Check with NZTA for updates on road conditions.