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Is This New Zealand’s First Mobile Testing For COVID 19?

Dr Kim Hurst and Vanessa Cameron testing for COVID-19 in Wainuiomata

Across the Hutt Valley, community based assessment and swabbing centres (CBACs) are being set up to test for COVID-19. Many general practices are testing people at the medical centre, with some practices using portable cabins alongside their practices.

“It’s really important that anyone who is feeling unwell with any condition, calls their local medical centre to discuss their situations and symptoms during this lockdown period,” says Dr Kim Hurst, Silverstream GP and Medical Director of Te Awakairangi Health Network.

To ensure the safety of patients and staff during the current Covid-19 pandemic, medical centres are seeing people in different ways, such as phone calls or online consultation, but can still offer face to face appointments if required.

Te Awakairangi Health Network’s first CBAC opened on 23 March and tested 18 people on the first day. Since then Te Awakairangi has opened CBACs in Naenae and Wainuiomata, and a further one will open in Upper Hutt this week. 

“On Friday, we started a mobile COVID-19 assessment and testing service. We think this might be the first mobile testing in New Zealand”, says Dr Hurst. “We know some people don’t have access to a car, or are too unwell to drive. We don’t want people that need testing catching public transport, or calling a taxi or Uber driver. When you are referred to a CBAC, we will talk through with you how and where you can be assessed and swabbed, including whether we need to assess you at home.”

For the list of CBAC locations and opening hours visit https://teawakairangihealth.org.nz/coronavirus-covid-19/

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