COVID-19 Level 4 update

Kia ora to all our referrers and patients who have worked with us during the COVID response. Like everyone, we have had to adapt and change and we will continue to evolve as we work through the current Alert Level 4.

Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC)

During Alert Level 4 the FNA service is suspended. Any FNA requests received will be held and appointments will be made when alert levels change. If you think an FNA is urgent and is required to confirm malignancy, please discuss your request with our Anatomic Pathologists by calling 03 474 8320 for SCL or 03 5461632 for Medlab South.

Reduction in Non-Essential Laboratory Test Requests

We have experienced a huge increase in COVID-19 testing volumes. Laboratories are re-directing resource to COVID-19 testing, including processing COVID-19 tests from other parts of the country.  We are asking referrers to request when only absolutely required.  We continue to ask that clinical details are routinely provided on all requests for laboratory services. 

Restriction in asymptomatic Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea testing

From Thursday 26th August all Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea tests will be restricted.

Testing is only recommended in the following patient groups:

  1. Those with urethritis and/or discharge (discharge not candida or BV)
  2. Men who have sex with men
  3. Those at high risk (e.g. sex workers)
  4. Sexual assault

Please delay screening tests. Do not send as part of smear collection.

Please note: patients who are contacts of known cases should be treated empirically without testing. Information regarding the management of suspected cases of all sexually transmitted/related infections can be found here –

Community Collection Centres

Most collection centres are open. To find a list of collection centres and their opening hours, please go to or

  • Please do not send patients to our collection room for routine screening tests which could wait until a change in Alert level.
  • Please do not send patients who have cold or flu like symptoms during Alert Level 4 as we are unable to take collections from patients who have symptoms similar to COVID-19.
  • All patients will be asked screening questions before entering a collection centre.

How to Make a Laboratory Request after a Remote Consult

Electronic ordering is the preferred way to request laboratory tests after a remote consult. To set up eOrders for your practice contact

By using eOrders your patient can present at any SCL or Medlab South collection centre and the form will be available in our system immediately. 

Home Visit Collection Services

The home visit service is intended to provide testing for patients who are unable to come into a collection centre and where testing is clinically urgent.

To request a new home visit, please use the tick option on the eOrders electronic request form. Further information regarding Home Visits can be found here for SCL and here for Medlab South.

Courier Service

Our courier service is running to the usual timetable. If you have any questions regarding the courier service or if your medical centre is closed, please email  for SCL, for Nelson and for Marlborough.


If you have any questions please contact us via our websites:

Ngā mihi mahana,

Drs Vivian Black, James Ussher, Aaron Keene, Juliet Elvy
Clinical Microbiologists
Southern and Canterbury SCL and MEDLAB South

Leanne Giles
General Manager SCL Southern and MEDLAB South Nelson Marlborough