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A mobile COVID-19 swabbing team has been deployed within Middlemore hospital wards to provide opportunistic COVID testing of newly admitted asymptomatic (and negative screened) patients.

“We’ve set up a mobile team to swab newly admitted inpatients in wards during the mornings and patients in ED in the afternoon, once the decision’s been made to admit them,” says Chief Medical Officer Pete Watson.

“This doesn’t mean we are going bed to bed swabbing every patient in the hospital. At this stage it’s directed at newly admitted asymptomatic patients who may be being treated for a wide range of non-COVID conditions, beginning in the adult medical and surgical wards.”

“This testing doesn’t replace the existing COVID screening and processes already in place for patients. We won’t be replacing the existing screening tools and clinical examination which already happens to determine course of action for every patient presenting to Middlemore. Anyone we suspect may have been exposed to COVID19 is already being swabbed and goes down a completely different pathway to others.”

“This team is simply offering surveillance testing to patients who’d normally be able to go to their local community testing centre for a test, but can’t because they’re in hospital.”

“As with the community testing sites, this testing isn’t compulsory, but we are encouraging everyone offered a test to take it.”

Posted in media release;

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