Taranaki DHB committed to increasing COVID-19 testing in the region

17 April 2020

Taranaki DHB (TDHB), along with all other DHBs around the country, is committed to testing for COVID-19, and encourages people to be tested around the region.

As at 16 April, 964 tests have been undertaken in Taranaki and sent for analysis.

TDHB’s Incident Management Team controller, Becky Jenkins, says “Whilst the majority of Taranaki residents’ tests samples are analysed by our designated laboratories, a small number of samples have been sent to Whanganui, and TDHB is still waiting on this data.”

On average, 20.5 tests per week have been undertaken between 1 March and 16 April. 605 of the tests were undertaken between 1-16 April, which is equal to 37.8 tests per day.

Mrs Jenkins says “We have two dedicated testing clinics which have generated 71.2 per cent of tests.  GP and another two designated testing sites account for 28 per cent of tests. We have seen a definite increase in people coming through our testing clinics since the case definition changed.”

A total of 178 Maori people have been tested which represents 18.4 per cent of all tests in Taranaki. Since the change in case definition there has been more testing for Maori, with 132 of the tests since 1 April.

Mrs Jenkins adds “Based on the 964 tests undertaken so far in Taranaki this is equal to a test rate of 8.6 tests per 1000 population.

“Testing against a wide case definition may result in a high number of negative tests but it also gives Taranaki and the country the best chance of eliminating the virus. The more testing we do, the more confidence we’ll have this horrible virus isn’t in Taranaki,” concludes Mrs Jenkins.

Advice to the public remains the same, if you are feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms relating to COVID-19 please call the dedicated healthline number - 0800 358 5453 or ring ahead to your GP. They will direct you for testing or treatment if necessary. If you are required to get a COVID-19 test you will be referred to a testing clinic with an appointment time.

TDHB’s Public Health Unit can confirm there have been no new COVID-19 cases for Taranaki in the last 24 hours, and there are now 11 recovered people from the 14 cases of COVID-19.

Last updated: Friday, April 17, 2020

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