Frequently Asked Questions

Technical Q&A

How often should I go to a collection site and provide a sample?


The test is voluntary and to start with it is recommended you provide a sample twice a week. The recommended frequency of testing will be updated depending on individual and society risk. We will notify you when the recommendations change.




What health and safety precautions are you going to be taking at the collection site?


Health and safety standard operating procedures are in place for infection control and are reviewed by our science team. Hand sanitisation points are provided. The collection site is designed so that no one will touch your sample. Sites are frequently cleaned and sanitised, and appropriate PPE gear is worn by all our staff. Everyone who enters a collection site will also be encouraged to use the NZ Ministry of Health Tracer App.




What if I have cold or flu or possibly COVID-19 symptoms such as a high temperature or cough?


The saliva test is only for people without cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms. People displaying symptoms will not be tested and will be directed to seek appropriate professional medical attention. The most important thing you can do is to follow basic infection control procedures as outlined by the Ministry of Health, stay at home if you are sick, use the NZ MoH Tracer App and wash your hands. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms seek professional medical attention immediately and do not come to our collection sites.




How do people give a saliva sample?


Rako Science collection sites are designed to make providing a sample quick and easy. After check-in, where identity is confirmed, people are provided with a teaspoon to drool into and produce 1.5ml of saliva to tip into a plastic tube. It is a quick, simple, painless process and after hand sanitisation you are free to go.




When do people get their results?


After treating, the samples are transported to the laboratory for processing. If the sample arrives at the laboratory before 1PM then the result will be provided that same day. The provision of results are coordinated with your organisation.




What if the result is positive for COVID-19?


COVID-19 is a notifiable disease and therefore once a positive result is confirmed in the laboratory the Rako Science team will immediately advise the local Medical Officer of Health and your organisation to ensure you get the health support you require as soon as possible.




Is Rako Science offering an alternative to the nasopharyngeal test?


Yes, it has been validated and accredited and is highly accurate.




Will you use the saliva test for any other purpose?


No, the saliva test and laboratory process is not set up to identify any other illness or substance. Samples that are processed and are negative will be destroyed after seven days.




Will the Rako Science test still detect the new strains of the virus?


Yes, the global company providing Rako Science with the assays for the laboratory has confirmed that the reagents are effective against the new, more infectious strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.




What happens at the laboratory?


On arrival at the lab, each treated sample is scanned in to maintain a secure chain of custody. Then a small amount of the saliva sample is processed by robots and transferred to a rt-qPCR machine which identifies whether the virus is present or not.




When is Rako Science going to be operational/when will I be able to get tested?


Rako Science will start taking samples at the collection sites and processing them in January 2021.




Who will be at the collection site?


Rako Science collection staff wearing protective personal equipment who will check-in people and guide people through sanitisation and provision of the sample.




Can I eat or smoke before giving a sample?


No, for at least 60 minutes before providing a saliva sample people should not eat, smoke, vape or drink anything other than water.




How should I prepare before giving a sample?


It is good to be well hydrated which makes it easier to provide a saliva sample, but no water should be consumed in the 30 minutes before the collection of the sample. Make sure to bring your device with the email appointment QR code to scan for easy check-in.




Why is Rako Science offering this service?


Rako Science’s saliva test is an additional tool enabling large scale surveillance that is cost effective and repeatable to protect people against COVID-19 infection.





User Q&A

How often should I go to a collection site and provide a sample?


The test is voluntary and to start with it is recommended you provide a sample twice a week. The recommended frequency of testing will be updated depending on individual and society risk. We will notify you when the recommendations change.




What health and safety precautions are you going to be taking at the collection site?


Health and safety standard operating procedures are in place for infection control and are reviewed by our science team. Hand sanitisation points are provided. The collection site is designed so that no one will touch your sample. Sites are frequently cleaned and sanitised, and appropriate PPE gear is worn by all our staff. Everyone who enters a collection site will also be encouraged to use the NZ Ministry of Health Tracer App.




What if I have cold or flu or possibly COVID-19 symptoms such as a high temperature or cough?


The saliva test is only for people without cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms. People displaying symptoms will not be tested and will be directed to seek appropriate professional medical attention. The most important thing you can do is to follow basic infection control procedures as outlined by the Ministry of Health, stay at home if you are sick, use the NZ MoH Tracer App and wash your hands. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms seek professional medical attention immediately and do not come to our collection sites.




How do people give a saliva sample?


Rako Science collection sites are designed to make providing a sample quick and easy. After check-in, where identity is confirmed, people are provided with a teaspoon to drool into and produce 1.5ml of saliva to tip into a plastic tube. It is a quick, simple, painless process and after hand sanitisation you are free to go.




When do people get their results?


After treating, the samples are transported to the laboratory for processing. If the sample arrives at the laboratory before 1PM then the result will be provided that same day. The provision of results are coordinated with your organisation.




What if the result is positive for COVID-19?


COVID-19 is a notifiable disease and therefore once a positive result is confirmed in the laboratory the Rako Science team will immediately advise the local Medical Officer of Health and your organisation to ensure you get the health support you require as soon as possible.




Is Rako Science offering an alternative to the nasopharyngeal test?


Yes, it has been validated and accredited and is highly accurate.




Why is Rako Science offering this service?


Rako Science’s saliva test is an additional tool enabling large scale surveillance that is cost effective and repeatable to protect people against COVID-19 infection.




Will you use the saliva test for any other purpose?


No, the saliva test and laboratory process is not set up to identify any other illness or substance. Samples that are processed and are negative will be destroyed after seven days.




Will the Rako Science test still detect the new strains of the virus?


Yes, the global company providing Rako Science with the assays for the laboratory has confirmed that the reagents are effective against the new, more infectious strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.




What happens at the laboratory?


On arrival at the lab, each treated sample is scanned in to maintain a secure chain of custody. Then a small amount of the saliva sample is processed by robots and transferred to a rt-qPCR machine which identifies whether the virus is present or not.




When is Rako Science going to be operational/when will I be able to get tested?


Rako Science will start taking samples at the collection sites and processing them in January 2021.




Who will be at the collection site?


Rako Science collection staff wearing protective personal equipment who will check-in people and guide people through sanitisation and provision of the sample.




Can I eat or smoke before giving a sample?


No, for at least 60 minutes before providing a saliva sample people should not eat, smoke, vape or drink anything other than water.




How should I prepare before giving a sample?


It is good to be well hydrated which makes it easier to provide a saliva sample, but no water should be consumed in the 30 minutes before the collection of the sample. Make sure to bring your device with the email appointment QR code to scan for easy check-in.