GPs and public health staff have done a fantastic job of testing the large number of symptomatic people in Tairawhiti since the COVID resurgence in Auckland last week.
611 people have been tested since last Thursday including a huge 240 people on Friday.
The number of people working at the swabbing centre and the time it is open has been increased to meet the demand.
The numbers of tests received at the lab in the last four days are:
I am pleased to see that everyone who had been referred for a swab at the swabbing centre had been processed by the end of the day on Saturday, says Hauora Tairāwhiti Medical Officer of Health Dr Osman David Mansoor.
“It is important that anyone with potential COVID-19 symptoms – cough, breathlessness, sore throat, runny nose, loss of taste or smell – get tested as soon as possible. You must contact your GP for a referral. There is no charge COVID related GP consultations or for swabbing.”
“GP practices are still doing swabs at their practices and referring to the swabbing centre. Only people with a referral will be seen there. Tests are taking on average 48 hours to process.”
More swabs have arrived in the district and have been distributed to GP clinics including to all the clinics on the East Coast.
Currently, we are only testing people who have symptoms and who been referred by their GP.
The exception is border staff and anyone else as determined by the local Medical Officer of Health for surveillance.
In response to rumours about COVID cases in Tairāwhiti Dr Mansoor can confirm there are no cases of COVID in Tairāwhiti. Dr Ashley Bloomfield is the source truth for all new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand.
If anyone in Tairāwhiti has been identified as a contact of a COVID case out of the district, our contact tracing teams are trained and ready to go. Our team would be in touch with people identified, their movements tracked and they would be asked to self-isolate until their test results come back.