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COVID-19 Testing Key To Managing Delta Outbreak In Auckland

During the Delta outbreak there have been 1.7m COIVD-19 tests processed through Auckland laboratories.

Northern Region Health Coordination Centre Lead (and Counties Manukau Health CEO) Fepulea’i Margie Apa says, “This intensive testing has been a key element in managing the outbreak.

“The high volume of testing demonstrates the ability of the health sector to respond quickly during disease outbreaks and to detect COVID-19 in the community.

“I’d like to acknowledge the outstanding effort of the testing and laboratory staff who continue to do a fabulous job. I would also like to thank the huge numbers of Aucklanders who have come out to get tested since the outbreak began on August 17,” says Ms Apa.

Ms Apa said it was particularly pleasing to see that over 30% of people tested during the outbreak were either Māori or Pacific. She also praised the Pasifika communities of South Auckland, where early positive cases were concentrated, for taking up the opportunity to be tested in large numbers.

More tests have been done in the northern region in the last 16 weeks, than were done in the preceding 76 weeks. On August 24 alone, more than 33,300 tests were completed, the highest number ever.

In total, since March last year, over 3.2m tests have been processed through the metro Auckland laboratories.

“We need to continue this mahi and we’re asking everyone with symptoms to get tested. This becomes crucial in the coming weeks as people start to move around the country during the holiday period,” says Ms Apa.

“If you have symptoms before you leave on holiday, get a test and wait at home until you get a negative result or are advised by health officials that it is safe to leave.”

Currently, only people with symptoms, and people directed to, should get a test. For up-to-date information on testing locations in Auckland, visit www.arphs.health.nz/covid19test.

Symptoms include:

· fever

· newor worsening cough

· sorethroat

· shortnessof breath

· sneezingand runny nose

· temporaryloss of smell or altered sense of taste

Around half of the samples taken since the beginning of the outbreak have been collected via community testing centres and pop-up clinics, with the balance via a network of around 380 general practices and urgent care clinics across the region.

Ms Apa thanked the primary care sector for its significant contribution to the testing volumes and she also recognised their continued efforts in the Whanau Home Quarantine / Community Isolation Quarantine area.

“This has been a true team effort and it shows that our systems are now well-established and able to respond when increased testing is required,” she said.

“It is also important to recognise the response of the public through the outbreak so far – the health system can only test people who come forward and the figures show people have not hesitated to do so. For that, we greatly thank Auckland.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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