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Auckland Health Authorities Thank Community For Record Testing Numbers

Auckland health authorities thank community for record testing numbers, encourage people with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested

More than 45,000 tests were completed in metropolitan Auckland between the time a new community case of COVID-19 was reported on Wednesday 12 August and 4pm on Sunday 16 August.

This number continues to increase as laboratories register and process the swabs taken in the past few days. The previous Auckland record was 6,407 tests registered on 23 June. The average number of tests for the seven days prior to Wednesday 12 August was 1,528 tests per day.

Totals tests receipted from 12-16 August 2020 (as at 4pm 16/08/2020)

12/08/202013/08/202014/08/202015/08/202016/08/2020*Total
11,12013,17513,3806,1741,55745,406

* 16/8 day still in progress

Notification of the new case triggered the implementation of the metropolitan Auckland district health boards’ resurgence plans as the city moved to Alert Level 3.

Over 500 healthcare workers have been redeployed to support testing in centres and facilities across the city, with 14 new pop-up community testing centres (CTCs) opening in the past four days (there are now a total of 18 CTCs).

Additional contact tracing teams are in place at Auckland Regional Public Health Service. Laboratory staff are working through the night to process tests, with Christchurch laboratories providing additional capacity and others standing by to provide support.

Northern Region Health Coordination Centre Lead (and Counties Manukau Health CEO) Margie Apa says communities in Auckland have responded well and need to keep going.

“On behalf of the whole health sector in Auckland I want to say thank you to the people of Tāmaki Makaurau. It has been an incredible response in a short space of time to the call to come and be tested.

“We know the sacrifices involved so the more we can keep up testing the sooner we can assess our situation.

“I also want to thank all the healthcare workers, in public health and primary care, in hospitals, laboratories and at testing centres, and elsewhere in our city for their hard work and commitment.”

If you have any cold or flu-like symptoms call your doctor to find out where you should have a free test. Testing is carried out at general practices, urgent care clinics and community testing centres. You can also seek medical advice on COVID-19 from Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

Atmosphere at CTCs upbeat despite queues

Sunshine across the weekend saw staff and patients positive at Auckland’s community testing centres (CTCs) with higher numbers than usual on Saturday and Sunday. General practices and urgent care clinics also reported strong demand for tests.

We encourage people with symptoms to call their local doctor to arrange a test if they can instead of visiting a CTC. All general practices and urgent care clinics provide free COVID-19 testing.

People who need to visit a CTC can help speed up the paperwork that is part of the process by bringing ID (one for every person who is being tested) and having their NHI number (if they know it) ready to give to our staff.

With laboratories currently processing unprecedented numbers of tests it may take longer than usual for people to receive their results. Positive results are communicated rapidly and the testing of contacts of cases are prioritised to support contact tracing. We thank the community for their patience.

The Northland and metro Auckland DHBs (Counties Manukau, Waitematā and Auckland DHBs) are operating a regional response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC).

Up-to-date lists of locations and hours for designated practices, community testing centres and urgent care clinics in metropolitan Auckland are at www.arphs.health.nz/covid91test .

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