Pre-Departure Testing for China – Update

The Chinese Embassy has updated its requirement for pre-departure travel testing. From 10 December 2020, passengers must complete one COVID PCR test (swab) and one COVID IgM antibody test (blood) within 2 days of boarding their flight, providing negative results of both. From Monday 7 December, COVID IgM antibody test will be available at SCL […]

Christmas and New Year Hours

All of our collection centres will be closed for the Christmas and New Year public holidays and there are some changes to hours over the rest of the holiday period. Normal Hours will resume on Tuesday 5th January 2021 for all clinics with the exception of Marinoto Clinic, Green Island and South City. Dunedin collection […]

Important Referrer Update re COVID-19 Testing

We receive hundreds of specimens per day for SARS-CoV-2 PCR. To ensure rapid testing on priority specimens, the laboratory has two work streams. To enable the laboratory to identify priority specimens, it is essential that request forms clearly state one of the following: Higher Index of Suspicion (HIS)Symptomatic healthcare workerSymptomatic Aged Residential Care residentPre-departure testing […]

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

It’s that exciting time of year again! For World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2020 (WAAW), the World Health Organisation has selected the slogan “Antimicrobials: Handle with care. United to preserve antimicrobials.” You will notice that we now talk in terms of “antimicrobials” rather than “antibiotics” because we recognise that resistance in organisms other than bacteria (such […]

University of Otago MELS 410 Medical Laboratory Science for Rural Health

Rural recruitment has always been part of the challenge of running a laboratory service across the Southern region for SCL. For example, in mid-2018, SCL Dunstan advertised widely for a full time laboratory worker. There were no suitable NZ educated applicants and so a Philippine qualified Technician, who had been working in Qatar, was appointed […]

ANCA: Indications for testing

View the table of Indication for ANCA testing and clinical definitions >>

COVID-19 Pre-departure – For Referrers

The Ministry of Health has advised laboratories and PHOs that COVID exit testing for repatriation to other countries pre-departure will not be funded by the NZ government from 22 June 2020. People registering for repatriation flights departing NZ will be made aware of any requirements around pre-departure testing by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and […]

New Covid-19 antibody blood test could see cases rise

A new test, named the Abbott antibody test, can check for past exposure to Covid-19 by indicating if a person has antibodies to the virus from previous infection, RNZ reports. The research was conducted by Southern Community Labs, the Southern District Health Board, and the universities of Auckland and Otago, and scientists expect the test […]

Doing whatever it takes to get COVID-19 swabs tested

With just 24 hours notice that Air New Zealand would not fly from New Plymouth during lockdown, Taranaki laboratory workers had to think fast. They had swabs of possible Covid-19 patients that needed to be tested in Wellington and with air freight out of the question, and the cost of an urgent courier too high, […]