Increased demand for COVID-19 testing in Taranaki

11 June 2021

Despite an increase in COVID-19 testing in the region Taranaki DHB has confirmed there are no positive cases detected in the community so far.

A total of 431 COVID-19 tests have been completed over the past week, with reports that many people with cold or flu-like symptoms are being tested just to be sure.

COVID-19 testing coordinator, Lydia Rae, said there was an immediate surge in people accessing the local testing centres last week, following the uncertainty of an Australian traveller who tested positive for COVID-19 after visiting Wellington for three days.

“Our testing centres saw high numbers of people getting tested in the first few days, then the demand slowed but was still relatively consistent across the weekend.

“Our testing teams are ready to upscale if we need to. We have a great team of staff who are here to help the Taranaki community if we need to urgently respond to COVID-19,” said Lydia.

Taranaki DHB’s medical officer of health, Dr Jonathan Jarman, is reminding the public to always keep the basic health hygiene protocols top of mind.

“With more infectious new variants it is much more important that we all focus on the basics like staying home if you’re sick with cold or flu-like symptoms and getting advice on a test, washing and drying hands, coughing and sneezing into elbows, and keeping track of where you have been.

“The virus is more likely to spread to other people when there are gaps in what we do to protect our community.

“There is also quite a bit of winter sickness around, so it’s a good idea to get tested if you feel a bit fluey to give yourself, your whanau and friends peace of mind.”

Advice for everyone in New Zealand

  • Everyone who was in Wellington last weekend is encouraged to review their movements against the locations of interest on the Ministry of Health website and follow any relevant advice.
  • In addition, anyone in the country with any cold and flu symptoms should organise to get a test immediately.
  • Everyone needs to be doing their bit to stop COVID-19 from re-entering our communities –use the app with Bluetooth tracing turned on and wear a face covering on all public transport and when physical distancing is difficult.

Advice for recent returnees to New Zealand
Anyone who was in Australia from June 21 onwards should;

  • monitor yourself closely for symptoms,
  • if you have COVID-19 symptoms, isolate and call Healthline (0800 358 5453) to arrange a test,
  • scan in with the COVID Tracer app wherever you go,
  • minimise the number of people you are in contact with where possible,
  • regularly check and follow the latest Ministry of Health advice.

Last updated: Tuesday, June 29, 2021

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