Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Key Messages
  • People requiring COVID tests prior to leaving the country can be tested at any general practice, or they may be able to arrange to be tested at one of the urgent care facilities: Moorhouse Medical, Riccarton Clinic, or 24 Hour Surgery. These tests are not eligible for funding, therefore the patient will have to pay for the test. These tests can NOT be performed at a testing centre as we have no mechanism for billing the patient.
  • COVID-19 testing is available at over 100 general practices across the region. General practices unable to test their patient may send them to a Community-based Testing Centre (CBTC or CBAC):
    • Whanau Ora: at Nga Hau e Wha marae, 250 Pages Road. Walk-in/drive-through. 9am-4pm 7 days a week.
    • 174 Orchard Rd, open 9am-4pm 7 days a week. Walk-in/drive-through.
    • Ashburton (48 South Street), open from 9.30am-3pm, 7 days a week. Drive-through
    • If your patient is unable to get to a testing centre, the mobile service is still available. Email details to to request a referral to the mobile team.
  • Join the Canterbury COVID-19 Response Facebook group here.
  • 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.
  • We are asking for any GP who is interested in supporting medical care within an ARC facility as a locum to get in touch with us at
  • 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?

Canterbury Primary Response Group (CPRG) has been in place for more than a decade to help ensure Canterbury primary care is ready for emergency and non-emergency events. They do this by working with the CDHB, Civil Defence, St John Ambulance, City Council and others throughout the year to network and plan. They develop and share plans and other resources via this website and have visited practices over the years to help with planning and to initiate local collaboration. CPRG is responsible for activating, or assembling, the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), who 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 the CDHB Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC), all with the objective of managing the emergency response for the Canterbury health system. EOCs are loosely 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.