Thursday, December 9

Record the number of tests, but people are encouraged to only have one if necessary


People are encouraged to get tested only if they are a contact, visited a place of interest, or have cold or flu symptoms.

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Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement that testing centers in Auckland had their busiest day yesterday, by more than 50 percent.

“More than 24,000 community tests were conducted in Auckland yesterday, more than 8,000 in community testing centers and around 16,000 in general medicine and urgent care clinics,” the ministry said in a statement.

A total of 27,899 tests were processed in New Zealand yesterday.

People have been waiting for hours in queues, some leaving after giving up and others complaining that people are jumping in line.

The Ministry of Health reiterated their advice: just to get tested if you are a contact, you have visited a place of interest on the specific date and time listed in the [www.healthpoint.co.nz/covid-19/ healthpoint website], or have cold or flu symptoms.

“It is imperative that we prioritize testing for these groups,” the ministry said.

“The ministry is grateful to New Zealanders who played their role in meeting alert level 4, obtaining proof, and for their patience at sites when demand is high.

“The ministry also thanks the testing staff for stepping up again – these staff are working at pace on the front lines of our Covid-19 response, in high-stress environments and making personal sacrifices to keep our communities safe.”

He said the police were helping with traffic control at the test sites.

Cars line up as people wait to be tested for Covid-19 at the Orchard Road test center in Christchurch.

Cars line up as people wait to be tested for Covid-19 at the Orchard Road test center in Christchurch.
Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

The number of Wellingtons heading to get tested for Covid-19 rose markedly as three cases were announced in the capital.

People at the Taranaki Street testing site were eager to find cases in Wellington, acknowledging the low usage of the Covid Tracer app in the city.

“Worried, yes, worried. I think I had a false sense of security that I was alone in Auckland,” said one woman.

“If you go to a store and they have a scan code on the window, it literally takes three seconds of your time to scan it … I think everyone should participate,” said another.

One man suggested that the government needed to introduce a policy to ensure that the public performed the scan.

Health officials make sure there is enough additional testing capacity in Wellington if needed.

Meanwhile, anxious Aucklanders began showing up at the test centers in droves long before the test centers opened this morning.

A young man was waiting in line for the New Lynn testing center after being in Bar 101 the same night as a positive Covid-19 case.

He had climbed the queue for about 50 meters in about 60 minutes, and yesterday his friends had waited hours.

“A long wait, but I brought some snacks, some drinks, I downloaded some Netflix movies, I came prepared,” he said.

People are encouraged to try to book a test at their GP or to bring identification and their national health index number if they go to a community testing center.

Test sites

The Health Ministry said there were 13 community testing centers available for testing across Auckland today, and all were open until 8pm. They included seven emerging community testing centers in Narrow Neck, St Lukes, Wairau Valley, St Johns, Albany, Mângere East, and Pakuranga Heights.

“There are additional dedicated tests for Avondale College staff, students, and whānau, which are considered close contacts.

“Additionally, around 2,600 swabs were taken from Auckland City Hospital staff and all have been negative so far, after a fully vaccinated staff member worked at the site while unknowingly being potentially infectious with Covid- 19 “.

Pop-up testing sites remain open in Coromandel Township, Thames, and Hamilton, and testing capacity has been increased.

The Waikato DHB lab processed about 2,600 tests yesterday, all of which came back negative.

There are a variety of test sites in Wellington, and additional testing capacity is available if needed, the ministry said.

“All DHBs ensure that there is good access to testing in all regions. Other locations, including in rural areas, are being actively considered to expand the geographic distribution of testing to help determine if there has been any non-transmission. detected to date “.

The total number of Covid-19 tests processed by labs to date is 2,612,235, with a seven-day moving average of 9,085.

In Waikato, test sites have been installed in the Coromandel Town parking lot, Tokoroa’s Memorial Sportsground, Claudelands Events Center in Hamilton, and the Founders Theater parking lot, also in Hamilton.


www.rnz.co.nz

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