COVID-19 testing in MidCentral district

People and whānau in the MidCentral district are being asked to only seek a COVID-19 test if they are displaying cold or flu-like symptoms.

General Practices throughout the district are experiencing high volumes of demand this week as a result of the change to National COVID-19 Alert Level 2, which has seen people with symptoms of COVID-19 encouraged to get a test.

While some people may have experienced longer than usual wait times, general practice teams are working hard to assess people against the national COVID-19 swab testing criteria and to arrange testing for those who meet the criteria.

THINK Hauora Medical Advisor Acute Care Dr Paul Cooper said it was important for people to understand that only people who exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 needed to be tested at this stage.

“General Practice Teams are doing the best they can to ensure those who need to be tested receive a test. We ask that you only contact Healthline or your general practice team for testing advice if you have cold or flu symptoms, or if you have another condition that needs urgent care.”

In addition to testing at general practices, a designated testing site has been erected in Palmerston North. Testing started at this site on Thursday 13 August and will be reviewed again next week.

If you have been in Auckland recently please be aware that you will only need a COVID test if you have cold or flu-like respiratory symptoms or if you receive notification that you have been in close contact with a person with confirmed COVID. 

If you have cold or flu symptoms, and you have difficulty contacting Healthline or your general practice team, please:

  • stay home and look after yourself and your whānau and family,
  • try again later.

Employers should note that only people with cold and flu symptoms will receive a test. Employers should not add additional pressure on Healthline or general practice teams by requesting a test for people without flu or cold symptoms.

Dr Cooper said if people were unwell with cold or flu symptoms they should stay at home and contact their general practice team or Healthline regarding testing.

“They will receive notification about their swab result and should stay at home until they are symptom free for another 48 hours”, he said. “If you need care that is not urgent, such as a repeat prescription, please use your patient portal (Manage My Health or Myindici) to reduce the number of phone calls to your general practice team. If you are not due for a repeat prescription, please order at your usual time rather than stocking up on your prescription as this places pressure on our local pharmacies.”  

“Above all, be patient and be kind.”