Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • Asymptomatic testing will be done at a pop-up testing site this Saturday at 170 Orchard Road between 10am to 4pm.
  • 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 Assessment Centre (CBAC):
    • Whanau Ora CBAC: at Nga Hau e Wha marae, 250 Pages Road. Walk-ins welcome – no referral necessary. 9am-1pm, 7 days a week.
    • Central City CBAC: Pegasus Health carpark at 401 Madras St (by referral only). Monday-Friday. Referrals will NOT be processed over the weekend. Refer patients via ERMS.
  • As at 09.00, 4 August there were 1,567 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in NZ, with 1,523 people recovered.
  • There are 22 active cases in the country. All active cases are in managed isolation/quarantine facilities.
  • PPE dispatch has changed from daily to weekly. Please place your orders as usual, but all your orders will be collated by Tuesday 5pm and dispatched over the next two days.
Key Messages
  • Guidelines for health practitioners are available on the Ministry website. These have been updated 24 July 2020.
  • You can still order PPE to assess and swab patients via the button to the left. Guidance for use is available on Community HealthPathways.
  • 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.
  • Join the Canterbury COVID-19 Response Facebook group here.

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 at the sector level. 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 environment of care; 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.