Cantabrians warned to get tested, vaccinated

The return of Covid-19 to Canterbury has health officials urging people to get tested if they have symptoms.

Two cases that were reported in Christchurch this morning follow a positive case in Blenheim which was identified at the weekend.

Canterbury District Health Board senior responsible officer for the Covid-19 response Dr Helen Skinner urged anyone with Covid-19 symptoms to get tested immediately.

"People can be tested at their general practice, you need to call before you turn up for a test, or at a community-based testing centre (CBTC).

The Pages Rd Covid testing centre in Christchurch today. Photo: George Heard
The Pages Rd Covid testing centre in Christchurch today. Photo: George Heard

"You don’t need a referral to attend a CBTC. You can drive-up or walk-in. Testing is free, unless you require a test for travel overseas."

Covid-19 testing centres currently operating in Canterbury:

  • Orchard Road CBTC (near Airport), 174 Orchard Road, (Off Harewood Road), Christchurch. Open 9am-late, 7 days a week.
  • Whānau Ora Community Clinic CBTC (Wainoni), 250 Pages Road, Wainoni, Christchurch. Open 9am-3:30pm (or later if demand requires), 7 days a week.
  • Ashburton Hospital site CBTC - 28 Elizabeth Street, Ashburton hospital site, Open 10am-2pm, Tuesday to Thursday and on Saturday (Walk-in/no referral required)

"Our testing centres are already experiencing increased demand and we have increased capacity to respond to this, with additional staff brought on board today. Our Orchard Road site will remain open late today as demand requires," Skinner said.

"To check if your GP can provide a test, call them or check via the Healthpoint website.

Skinner says you should get tested if you visited a location of interest or have cold and flu symptoms.

Full details about testing options in Canterbury can be found here.

Vaccinations
Skinner said it is a timely reminder of how easily Covid-19 can spread.

"Our best defence against the virus is to have as many people as possible in our community vaccinated.

"It’s important that we continue to improve vaccination coverage across Canterbury, as high vaccination rates will help protect our communities and keep people safe.

"89 percent of our eligible population has now received at least one dose. We’re urging anyone yet to receive their vaccinations to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their whanau and our community. 

A full list of clinics, including multiple walk-in options, can be found here.

There are currently 100-plus community vaccination clinics open throughout Canterbury, many open weekends and late nights.

"You do not need to book for most of them.  If you prefer a fixed time, you can book your vaccination at www.bookmyvaccine.covid19.health.nz or call 0800 28 29 26," Skinner said.

"The more of us who are fully vaccinated, the more protection we will have against Covid-19, and the more freedom this gives us."

 

 

 

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