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A sick Mt Albert Grammar teen who had close contact with a Covid-19 case is still waiting for his results, five days after getting tested for the virus.
The 17-year-old had been experiencing symptoms for most of last week. Then on Thursday, after being told by the Ministry of Health Healthline he had close contact with another Mt Albert Grammar student who tested positive for Covid-19, he went to get tested himself.
His dad, who also got tested at the same time despite not being considered a close contact, received his results on Friday but the teen's are yet to appear.
Yesterday, Heathline officials told his frustrated mother to take him in for a second test as his first one had still not been processed. It is unclear if that is because it has been lost or the results have been slow to come back.
"[Health officials] said often swabs just get put into different bags and go to different labs so it could be that [my son's] got sent somewhere else in the country to [his dads']."
The teen's mother is now calling for her son's new test to be fast-tracked, saying it has been a stressful time for the family and concerns about his health have continued, including a small medical event at their home on Friday night during which an ambulance was called.
His mother, who did not want to be named to protect her son's privacy, said paramedics assessed his vitals which came back normal. It did little to reassure her though given his results weren't back yet.
She says the paramedics then told her they would normally take him to hospital for further testing but there was a high threshold for taking people in who are close contacts.
They suggested it was instead best for him to stay home and family could keep an eye on him from there.
"I was worried about how we could be assured [the incident] wasn't an aneurysm or the start of epilepsy or something more sinister without him being given the all clear from medical professionals.
"I felt irritated by that but obviously we kept a close eye on [him]."
On Sunday she called to chase up his results but was told there was no priority given for close contacts. That was when she was told his results hadn't been processed yet but he should have two more tests this week.
Her son started to feel slightly better yesterday but still wants answers.
Along with the anxious wait for the results his mother said the conflicting advice from health officials has been really frustrating. One example was being told by one official her son could be tested at home, but another official told them he needed to go a community testing station, which he ended up doing.
She is not the only one feeling frustrated as nine new cases were yesterday confirmed and anyone with symptoms is being urged to do their bit and get tested.
The Herald spoke to another Mt Albert Grammar student who was also concerned by the lack of communication and mixed messages he had been getting from Healthline.
The 18-year-old said he was also was considered a close contact and had experienced a sore throat and runny nose.
During a call with Healthline he was advised to get tested and he would receive more information later that night.
"I was told by the Healthline that due to the fact of I was displaying symptoms I would receive a call later on that night to explain these symptoms, what do you know, I never received a call."
He said when his test result had come back negative, via email, health officials told him he was free to leave his home as long as he maintained social distancing.
"Which is different to what I was orginially told and what other mates have been told."
He had originally been told to self-isolate for two weeks regardless of the results.
"The lack of contact is very concerning, especially for people who are infected."
He says he tried to call Healthline for further advice but gave up after waiting on the phone for more than an hour.
The Herald has asked the Ministry of Health for comment about the student's delays in getting test results back but a reply did not address those specific questions.
When asked about how many tests a person should have a spokesman said asymptomatic close contacts were currently only tested once, but whether to test a second time was currently being investigated.
"Sometimes symptomatic close contacts might test negative shortly after their exposure, but we consider, on the basis of individual assessment, that they may be still be developing an infection and need further testing usually up to three tests around 48 hours apart."
Yesterday there were just over 26,000 tests and the nine new cases are all believed to connected, or are likely to be connected, to the Auckland cluster which started early last week.
The cluster currently has 58 people and almost 100,000 tests have been conducted since the first cases came to light.