An Otago woman who waited 10 days for her Covid-19 test result was given conflicting information about who would give her the result.
Four days after returning from a holiday in the United States with her partner, Emma Schikker began feeling unwell, symptoms including a sore throat.
After a referral from a Wanaka GP, she was tested at the community-based assessment centre (CBAC) in Queenstown on March 29.
The 26-year-old was told her GP or a public health worker would call her with the result in 48 to 72 hours.
After waiting three days, she called a nurse at her GP's clinic, who told her the result had not arrived.
She got the same answer after more calls over the ensuing week, while a call to Healthline assured her the result would come from her GP.
"Roll on 10 days and I still hadn't heard anything back," Schikker said.
Finally, she spoke to her GP on Wednesday, who told her to call the CBAC directly.
A CBAC worker gave her the good news her result was negative.
"They couldn't understand why I'd been missed off the list, and that they'd had my result back after about three days, but for some reason it wasn't passed on."
Fortunately, as she and her partner continued self-isolating at home, her symptoms cleared up a few days after her test.
"I wasn't worried about my own health, but what if there were people out there who had symptoms and were still waiting?" Schikker said.
"And I didn't want to be that person who went to the supermarket and then they call you and say 'actually you've got it'."
Wellsouth medical director and GP Dr Stephen Graham said he had not heard of any similar delays.
For tests carried out at a CBAC, the assessment centre informed patients of negative results.
Those with positive results were notified by Public Health South, a division of the Southern District Health Board that was carrying out contact tracing.
Although all results from a CBAC were also sent to a patient's nominated GP, WellSouth did not expect GPs to routinely notify such patients.
When the test was carried out by a GP, they were responsible for informing the patient of the result.
The time for test results to come back was variable but "usually quite prompt" — within 24 hours, Graham said.
"We advise patients after they are tested to contact the CBAC if they have not heard back in 72 hours."