From this weekend there will be a new model for delivering community testing for COVID-19 in Auckland.
The new model will provide the same testing capacity but will be delivered by a different mix, including four new Community Testing Centres (CTCs) and more mobile testing units. The Community Testing Centres will only provide COVID-19 testing services – communities are encouraged to see their primary care providers for other healthcare needs as per usual.
The four new Community Testing Centres will open tomorrow in Northcote, Henderson, Grafton and Wiri. These locations have been selected because they offer a long-term and sustainable approach to community testing, and continue to ensure communities in metro Auckland have access to testing.
The new CTCs replace the Community Based Assessment Centres (CBACs) that were set up early on in the COVID-19 response. Testing centres in metro Auckland will continue to respond to any changes in demand.
The new model also supports increased flexibility, meaning testing units can be deployed to specific communities, including Maaori and Pacific communities and those who are more vulnerable, if there is a surge in local cases.
The Northern Region Health Coordination Centre wants to thank CBACs for their outstanding efforts on behalf of our communities. Many of the CBACs were set up at very short notice in March and April and we are greatly appreciative of all their efforts as we move into this next phase.
Northern Region Health Coordination Centre Lead (and Counties Manukau Health CEO) Margie Apa said, to reiterate what has already been said by Dr Ashley Bloomfield and the Ministry of Health, testing will be offered to all people who present with symptoms.
“We all have our part to play and everyone who is offered a swab should take up that offer.
“Testing is an important part of the strategy to detect any community cases of COVID-19 and we are committed to ensuring our communities have access to testing,” said Margie Apa.
“I want to acknowledge and thank the staff in the CBACs, primary care, general practice and urgent care clinics. You have all worked incredibly hard and often with long hours to carry out the testing
“We also want to reassure the public that there is currently no evidence of COVID-19 in Auckland outside of the isolation and quarantine facilities.”
The last community case of COVID-19 in Auckland was reported on 22 May and since that time more than 100,000 tests have been carried out across the city – with around 20 per cent of these for people in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.
This means, since 22 May, more than 80,000 community tests have been carried out across the city – all negative.
The only COVID-19 cases currently in Auckland are people who have recently returned from overseas into managed isolation and quarantine facilities.
“The DHBs are taking every precaution and it is important the public remain vigilant; we must continue our whole of community approach to combating the pandemic,” said Margie Apa.
The same actions that protect from COVID-19 also keep our community safe from the flu, colds, and other infectious diseases.
Washing your hands remains one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep yourself safe. Continue to cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, clean surfaces, and stay home if you’re sick.