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Public Encouraged To Get Tested For COVID-19

MidCentral District Health Board’s Public Health Team is calling on people to get tested for COVID-19 to ensure we are keeping our whānau, friends and the community safe.

Anyone experiencing cold, flu or respiratory illness symptoms, no matter how minor, is encouraged to get tested at one of MidCentral’s six testing sites. Testing is available seven days a week.

MidCentral DHB Medical Officer of Health Dr Robert Weir said even if it seemed like just a regular winter sniffle, it was important to call your GP team, or Healthline’s COVID-19 line, to get an appointment for a free test.

“It’s important we test as many people as possible for COVID-19 in the MidCentral District especially during weekends where we have seen a drop in numbers at our testing stations.

“You do not need to wait until the next business day, our teams are ready to test you seven days a week.”

Dr Weir said increasing testing was critical if we wanted to keep the community free of COVID-19.

“By testing those who need to be tested, we can avoid widespread transmission of the virus in our region thereby maintaining a high standard of public health.”

The Palmerston North testing site is open from 9am to 4.15pm on Saturday and Sunday, the Horowhenua site is open from 9am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday, the Feilding site is open from 9am to 12pm on Saturday and Sunday, and the Tararua site is open from 9am to 12pm on Saturday.

Healthline’s dedicated COVID-19 number is open 24 hours, seven days per week and is a free call to 0800 358 5453. Healthline is monitored by registered nurses and there are minimal wait times.

Symptoms include coughing, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, loss of sense of smell or taste, and shortness of breath. If you are experiencing any one of these, you need to call Healthline or your GP team to get referred for testing.

Dr Weir particularly encouraged Māori and Pasifika people with symptoms to get tested for COVID-19. We are working closely with iwi and based on their feedback, we have set up a marae-based testing site at Whakapai Hauora in Palmerston North, which can be accessed by calling your GP team or Healthline.”

Dr Weir said that although all active cases of COVID-19 in our region had now recovered, as of 7 May, vigilance in adhering to physical distancing, good hand hygiene, staying within our bubbles and following Alert Level guidelines was important.

For more information on COVID-19, testing and resources in the MidCentral district, please visit our website at https://covid19.mdhb.health.nz/. 

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