10,000 tests conducted in the south

More than 10,000 Covid-19 tests have been done across Otago and Southland at general practices and community based assessment centres (CBACs).

The milestone was passed today, WellSouth chairman Dr Doug Hill said.

The primary healthcare organisation had, as of 1pm today, facilitated 10,401 tests half in general practices and half in the CBACs.

"This is remarkable achievement of which the whole community should be proud," Dr Hill said.

"Testing for the virus is fundamental to the battle against this pandemic and the Southern general practices and WellSouth have been at the frontline from the start.

"It’s been a massive undertaking but every time public health or the Ministry asked us to expand our testing, WellSouth and general practice have stepped up and done the job."

Testing in the community began on March 18 when it established and staffed a temporary CBAC at Forsyth Barr Stadium, testing 150 close contacts of a pupil at Logan Park High School who tested postive.

CBACs were then set up in Dunedin, Invercargill and Queenstown and a centralised 0800 VIRUS19 call centre was established, streamlining access to COVID-19 testing - whether at general practice or CBACs.

Pop-up testing as since been done at Pak ‘n Save and six backpackers accomodations in Queenstown, Puketeraki Marae in Karitane, the Alliance Group at Lorneville, Te Rau Aroha Marae in Bluff, with a Pasifika community group in Oamaru, the Alliance works at Pukeuri, Murihiku Marae in Invercargill today and at Otakau Marae in Dunedin tomorrow.

A dozen general practices across the region had acted as designated practices, testing both their own enrolled patients and those who did not have a GP.

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