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As COVID-19 continues to spread in the community, to protect our participants and the clinical team, we are changing our study processes and self-swabbing will be used if our nurses are unable to visit you in the home to collect a swab. 

Self-swabbing is an effective way of testing for COVID-19, flu and other respiratory viruses. We understand self-swabbing may seem a bit daunting, but it may reassure you to know that some of our participants did self-swabbing during the August 2021 lockdown!

You will be provided with instructions and a link to an instructional video to guide you through the process, plus our clinical team can offer you guidance and support over the phone or by video call you if you need it.


 Self-swabbing collection steps

  1. Delivery of self-swabbing kit: We will arrange for the delivery of a self-swabbing kit to your home. The kit will include the equipment to take the swab, a specimen request form, packaging, and step-by-step instructions.
  2. Self-swabbing: Once you are comfortable with the instructions, please take your swab. If you have a child in the household who needs swabbing, we will provide separate instructions and a video for you to take their swab.
  3. Collection of your swab: Once the swab has been taken, pack it up as per the instructions, then let us know it is ready for collection. We will arrange to collect the swab and deliver it to the laboratory for testing.

 Please note - unlike RATs tests, these swabs must be returned in the solution and tube provided. 

Step-by-step instructions 

Our step-by-step instructions sheets and videos are available here:

Child  [PDF, 1 MB]

Adult [PDF, 1 MB]


Adult self-swabbing video 

Child self-swabbing video 


The ESR lab staff will test your swab for influenza, COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses. COVID-19 and flu results will normally be available within 48 hours, results for other respiratory viruses may take up to two weeks.

Negative test results for influenza/COVID-19: If the swab shows no flu or COVID-19 virus, we'll let you know, and nothing further is needed.

Positive test result for influenza/COVID-19: If you or a household member tests positive for flu or COVID-19 virus, we will let you know and explain what happens next. We will ask you to repeat the self-swab every 3rd day until you return two negative swab results, which indicates you are no longer shedding the virus.

Testing positive for COVID-19

If you or a household member test positive for COVID-19, the WellKiwis team are here to offer support to your whānau.

You may also find the following websites useful:

If you test positive for COVID-19 | Unite against COVID-19 ( link)

COVID-19 positive – caring for your child at home | Health Navigator NZ(external link)