Virus testing in South increases almost sevenfold

Covid-19 testing rates across the southern region increased almost sevenfold in a day, with more than 1300 people being tested for the disease yesterday.

News of four community transmission cases in Auckland and a hiking of the regional Covid-19 Alert Level to 2 resulted in hundreds of people seeking free tests from GPs and pop-up clinics yesterday (Wed), WellSouth reported.

"WellSouth, Southern District Health Board and general practice teams have continued to plan and are prepared to scale up testing capacity in Southern very quickly if needed,'' a spokeswoman said.

The 1300+ tests yesterday were a stark contrast to the 257 tests carried out on Monday and just 193 on Tuesday.

A drive-through Covid-19 testing centre in Queenstown today has been doing a roaring trade; a centre established in the Invercargill WellSouth car park tested 21 people yesterday afternoon.

It is open again today and likely also tomorrow.

"We are in regular contact with general practices throughout the day, gathering feedback on how much demand they are experiencing and how we can help if additional support is required,'' the spokeswoman said.

Mandatory screening for dental school patients

The University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry said it is now requiring patients with existing appointments to complete screening before arriving and was not allowing walk-ins for the time being.

"For those with appointments, it is essential you have completed your pre-appointment Covid-19 risk screening.

"If you haven’t completed your screening, you will be turned away without being able to enter the building. We are not able to make any exceptions."

It said all patients with appointments will need to be screened whether they have symptoms or not.

  • To get screened, call AskOtago on 03 479 8889 or 0800 80 80 98

mike.houlahan@odt.co.nz  

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