A steady number of people have been tested at MidCentral DHB’s five designated testing sites in Palmerston North, Ōtaki, Dannevirke, Feilding and Levin, or by the mobile testing unit assisting those unable to make it to one of the sites.
But MidCentral DHB Chief Executive Kathryn Cook said there is a need to do even more testing to ensure there are no unknown cases in our community.
“In order to keep our population safe, we don’t want any unknown cases of COVID-19 in the community. I strongly encourage anyone who displays cold or flu-like symptoms or who displays symptoms of a respiratory infection to get tested.”
Ms Cook said free tests are available seven days a week by calling Healthline’s COVID-19 line on 0800 358 5453 or through a General Practice Team. Following this discussion, people will be booked in for a test at the dedicated testing centre closest to them. “There is a need at this time to get an appointment to allow us to deliver the necessary testing to the public in a safe and efficient manner.”
With most General Practice Teams closed at weekends, we ask that people use the Healthline number at these times for appointments. Healthline is now answering most calls within 20 seconds.
COVID-19 symptoms may include a cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, and temporary loss of smell or taste.
MidCentral DHB Medical Officer of Health Dr Robert Weir said exhibiting any of these symptoms, even in a mild form, was cause for testing.
“People should still get tested if they are experiencing mild symptoms or just one of the symptoms. For example, if someone has a cough but not a runny nose, they should still be tested.”
Dr Weir said the continued efforts of our population to self-isolate, stay within their bubbles and adhere to the Alert Level 4 restrictions have been key in the low number of COVID-19 positive patients in the MidCentral district.
“We commend the public for their vigilance in this area, but remind everyone that it’s important that we identify those in our community who have COVID-19 to eliminate the risk of further spread when restrictions are lifted.”
“Testing is important to ensure we are managing, monitoring and containing the spread of COVID-19 in our community and the wider country.”