COVID-19 testing station being set up in Wairoa
Hawke's Bay App
Thursday, March 26, 2020 10:09 AM
A dedicated COVID-19 testing station is being set up in Wairoa and should be fully operational by tomorrow.
People can only be tested at the Community Based Assessment Centre (CBAC) with a referral. Patients must first phone their GP or Healthline: 0800 358 5453. That referral will be sent to the CBAC team, which will contact the patient to arrange a test.
In Wairoa, patients will need to enter the hospital grounds through Gate 3 (rear entrance) and follow the signs to the laboratory entrance. They will stay in their car and staff wearing personal protection equipment will advise them of the next steps.
It is important to note that CBACs are not drop-in centres, says Hawke’s Bay District Health Board emergency response operations lead, Claire Caddie. People who arrive at a CBAC without a referral will be redirected to their GP or Healthline.
"If you are ill, you must phone your general practice or Healthline first. Your doctor will take a full history of your illness and, based on that, will be able to tell you whether you need COVID-19 testing, or whether you need other treatment," says Ms Caddie.
Not following that system may risk patients not receiving treatment they need.
"The team can only test for COVID-19. The risk is that patients with other respiratory ailments, not related to COVID-19, will not get the right treatment if they do not phone their GP or Healthline first."
A second risk is that by having too many people trying to access CBACs, they will become overwhelmed and not be able to adequately manage the testing of those who do require the service.
"Our general practice doctors have access to the latest information on the symptoms that mean someone requires testing. For your own health, you must phone you doctor’s general practice or Healthline and talk to them first."
As always, in an emergency, call 111.