COVID-19 Update – Step Up Of Testing Urged
The Ministry of Health today reported no new cases of COVID-19 in Hawke’s Bay – the total for the region remains at 41.
Medical Officer of Health Dr Nick Jones said today whilst no new cases had been reported for two consecutive days, more referrals for COVID-19 testing by frontline health professionals were needed in order to gain a true picture of the disease in the region.
There was no cost for anyone to call their GP or Healthline for an assessment/referral to a Community-Based Assessment Centre.
“The Government has been very clear that we have plenty of testing capacity. We need to make the most of this to detect all possible cases and to ensure there is no community transmission before lifting level 4 restrictions,” said Dr Jones.
“Today I am sending an updated advisory to all frontline healthcare workers across the region to step up their testing regimes and refer anyone showing symptoms, even mild, to community-based assessment centres for testing,” he said.
While anyone with symptoms included in the current case definition should be tested, Dr Jones said it was particularly important for essential service workers to be tested if feeling unwell, given they had spent more time out of their bubble during the Level 4 lockdown period.
To date, there have been 2276 people swabbed across Hawke’s Bay.
Community-based assessment centres, where people are referred for testing, are operating in Hastings, Napier, Wairoa and Central Hawke’s Bay.
“I urge anyone feeling unwell to take their symptoms, even if mild, seriously.
“We must take advantage of this Level 4 lockdown period to get the most accurate picture as we can of this disease in our region in order to contain it and stop any spread.”
Symptoms include cold or flu-like illness with one or more of the following: a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, a runny nose or loss of smell.
Anyone experiencing these symptoms should call their GP or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 to be referred for testing.