Media Release Monday 30 March 2020 | Five additional COVID-19 testing centres are now up-and-running across metro Auckland, ensuring even better community-based access to swabbing for those who meet the clinical criteria.
In addition to the five urban clinics and two rural clinics opened a week ago, an additional five clinics have started operating over the weekend and today, increasing the network to 12 locations. Each clinic has the capacity to take more than 100 swabs per day.
Waitematā DHB CEO and Northern Region lead CEO for emergency planning Dr Dale Bramley said he was pleased to see new centres opening to cater specifically to the needs of the Māori and Pacific populations.
“Over the last nine days, the clinics have taken 3831 swabs across metro Auckland. The extension of this network with the addition of further testing points enables better reach into our communities,” Dr Bramley said.
“The opening of Māori and Pacific-focused clinics means we can ensure a culturally appropriate approach that will further reduce barriers to testing and ensure that any positive cases can be closely monitored and managed.”
The new clinics are:
- AUT Integrated Health, Northcote
- Spectrum House, Howick
- Langimalie Health Centre, Panmure (Pacific provider)
- Pukekohe Family Health Centre
- Whānau House, Henderson (Māori provider)
These are in addition to the existing clinics:
- Henderson Specialist Centre
- White Cross, St Lukes
- Local Doctors Airport Oaks Clinic, Mangere
- Takanini Urgent Care Clinic
- Shorecare, Northcross
- Oneroa Accident and Medical, Waiheke Island
- Coast to Coast Healthcare, Wellsford
General Manager Primary Care, Matt Hannant said that from today, testing in the community would transition almost exclusively to the 12 testing centres, with some designated general practices and urgent care centres continuing to support this new model.
“This will enable general practices to focus on non-COVID-19-related care for their communities,” Mr Hannant said.
“Although this is a busy time for the health system, it is important that people still reach out to their GP with any health concerns, ideally via their practice’s patient portal. Care for normal health issues will still be provided and practices are open, although they have moved to phone and video consultations wherever possible.
“It is also important that the public understands hospital emergency departments still have capacity to help people in genuine need of emergency care.
“Over recent days, we have seen a pattern of people presenting to EDs at a very late stage when they are seriously ill. The message we want people to hear is that it is still okay to access the hospital ED before health concerns become critical.”