News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Rapid COVID-19 Testing Now In Regional Laboratories - Greater Support For Regional Hospitals

From today, eight regional labs will be receiving much needed capability to rapidly test for COVID-19 and influenza, providing crucial and timely support to regional hospitals. Rapid COVID-19 tests take just under an hour, enabling the smaller regional labs to add to the national testing capacity and support regional hospitals to act early.

The ability to now perform rapid COVID-19 and influenza testing at these regional sites is through the deployment of a molecular testing machine called GeneXpert, an initiative being rolled out by Southern Community Labs (SCL) to their regional sites in Masterton, New Plymouth, Nelson, Blenheim, Clyde, Timaru, Invercargill, and Queenstown.

CEO of SCL Dr Peter Gootjes said COVID-19 is the driving force behind these regional labs accessing near-patient, low volume rapid molecular testing.

“Up until now our regional lab sites would not have had on-site molecular testing, and under normal circumstances they would likely never have had it, but with COVID-19 we need these sites to support the hospitals with faster information than ever before. The GeneXpert will help them do that,” says Dr Gootjes.

The roll out of the testing to regional lab sites is operationally cost effective and relatively easy to deploy says Dr Gootjes, making it easier to put COVID-19 testing into as many of their SCL lab sites as appropriate to support clinical decisions.

“The equipment is perfectly suited for our smaller labs. It requires minimal training and minimal molecular expertise to operate. At low volumes it can provide a range of respiratory tests including COVID-19 and the influenza, and these results come back within an hour, so the clinical impact with these at our regional sites is significant,” he said.

High volume COVID-19 and influenza testing has been and will continue to be provided by the larger diagnostic labs where there is greater expertise and capacity to provide these services. While the new GeneXpert machine returns COVID-19 tests quickly, it is a low volume machine and will be used to focus on specific high needs cases with the greatest impact.

The SCL labs in Nelson, Timaru and Invercargill have had the GeneXpert platform for over a year with rapid influenza testing capability. The extension of the rapid testing platform will cover more of the regional areas where access to testing is challenging, as well as provide COVID-19 testing to the current sites.

SCL Clinical Microbiologist Dr Juliet Elvy said the Nelson site went live today with their rapid COVID-19 testing, and that it offers a raft of benefits for the regional hospitals.

“In the Nelson lab we’ve had the GeneXpert to run rapid influenza tests for over a year, so we’re really excited to add rapid COVID-19 testing. It’ll further enhance the way we support the hospital and our public health team – it will improve how they triage and give them fast accurate information to make calls on how to manage the patient,” says Dr Elvy.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>


Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>


Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland