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More covid testing stations now open – including in Newtown, Hataitai, Lower Hutt

News from CCDHB and HVDHB
The Capital & Coast and Hutt Valley DHBs have resourced up for increased COVID-19 testing as the Wellington region transitions to COVID-19 alert level 2. Increased demand for COVID-19 testing saw an estimated 2100 COVID swabs carried out yesterday in Porirua, Wellington, Lower Hutt, and Upper Hutt. The testing found no positive cases.

The DHBs and PHO partners have increased testing capacity and sites across the region.

In addition to the region’s existing community-based testing centres (CBACs) – in Paraparaumu, Porirua, Wellington, Lower Hutt, and Upper Hutt – new sites have opened in Hataitai Park, the Wellington Regional Hospital carpark by Te Hopai off Mein Street, the Johnsonville Medical Centre, the Lower Hutt Riverbank carpark, and the Karori Medical Centre. In total there are now 10 testing sites across the region, as well as testing offered by GP practices.

Some CBACs are working extended hours, and have put on additional staff so people can be tested as quickly and efficiently as possible.

A full list of testing sites and locations is available here.

Wellington and Hutt Valley region COVID-19 testing centres are prioritising tests for people who have been to locations of interest or who are displaying symptoms.

Yesterday’s demand meant that the central city Taranaki Street venue was busy, with people needing to wait. However, no one who was symptomatic or who had been to a location of interest was turned away from a CBAC. Taranaki Street is fully booked today.

Yesterday there were 6999 tests nationwide of which 2100 swabs were tested in the Wellington region – five times the number of the day before. COVID-19 testing volume in the Wellington region is increasing, with capacity for about 3,500 swabs to be tested today, and capacity for 4,500 swabs tomorrow.

The DHBs are reminding people to call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or their GP for advice on testing and referral to a booking centre to make an appointment. Anyone seeking a test is strongly advised to make an appointment. People arriving without an appointment may experience longer wait times as our centres need to prioritise those who have appointments, or are known to have been to a location of interest, or who are symptomatic.

RNZ reports that Dr Ashley Bloomfield says there are over 50 testing sites across the Wellington region. There will be an additional central city testing site established either later today or tomorrow, he says, and more information will be made available.

Dr Bloomfield says Jack Hackett’s and Four Kings bars – on different floors in the same building – are both locations of interest and share a QR code. He says people who were in those locations at the time of interest should follow the advice on the website.

Dr Bloomfield says even if people return a negative result the advice is very clear: “Continue to monitor for symptoms for that full 14-day period from first exposure, and if you have any symptoms then isolate and be retested.”

Wellington.Scoop
Another CBD covid testing centre is to be set up on Friday, Saturday and Sunday – it’ll be in the car park at Te Papa. It will be open from 8am to 9pm for booked tests only.

It is estimated that COVID-19 swab numbers today far exceeded the 2100 carried out yesterday across the region, and CTCs have reported that booked appointments have made the swabbing process far smoother.

People are reminded to call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or their GP for advice on testing and for referral to a booking centre to make an appointment. Anyone seeking a test is strongly advised to make an appointment. People arriving without an appointment may experience longer wait times.

News from Ministry of Health – June 23
A pop-up covid testing station was opened this afternoon at Hataitai Park. Other dedicated testing stations in Wellington and their opening hours are as follows:

· Wellington Central, 196-200 Taranaki Street. Will remain open until 9pm tonight, subject to demand and will reopen tomorrow at 10am. It is fully booked for tomorrow, but other testing centres still have capacity.

· Porirua, 178 Bedford Street. Will reopen at 9am tomorrow.
· Johnsonville Medical Centre, 24 Moorefield Road. Will be open tomorrow 9.30am-4pm.
· Lower Hutt, 729 High St. Open 9am to 4pm.
· Upper Hutt, Heretaunga Christian Centre, 51 Lane Street. Open 9am to 4.30pm.

People can also be tested at many GP or urgent care clinics.

Report from RNZ
Hundreds of people were queuing up to be tested at the Taranaki Street testing centre in Wellington today, showing a mixture of calmness and anxiety. Most people felt it was their duty to get tested, having been caught at a location of interest, or with minor symptoms.

One man sounded eager to get his results: “it does worry me, yes. I mean it is what it is – I’ll just do my part and you know – it’s better to be safe than sorry in these situations, so…” Another man said it had been a jolt from New Zealand’s largely Covid-19-free status: “Yes it’s scary because we were quite safe in the bubble.” While another man said he was happy to follow the instructions, and felt it was unlikely there was anything to worry about: “I don’t think I was there at the same time he really was, I just wanted to be safe and make sure.”

At times there were up to 100 people queuing from Taranaki Street around the corner on to Arthur Street, and dozens of cars were driving through the testing clinic. Many were being turned away if they hadn’t booked a time to be tested, and were handed information to call Healthline by the staff managing the site.

More News from MoH
All four close contacts of the Sydney visitor have now returned initial negative tests. This includes two contacts in Palmerston North, whose results were announced earlier.

Further locations of interest, including Wellington Airport, have been published on the Ministry of Health website.

Public health officials have determined that only those seated in the foodcourt at Wellington Airport between 8.30am and 9.55am on Monday need to stay at home, get a test around Day 5 after last exposure and remain at home until negative test result is received.

All other people at Wellington Airport between 8.30am and 10.30am on Monday should self-monitor for COVID symptoms for 14 days. If symptoms develop, get tested and stay at home until negative test result is received.

People at the other large exposure site, Te Papa, between 3:05pm and 5:45pm on Saturday are advised to stay at home, get a test around Day 5 after last exposure and remain at home until a negative test result is received.

All people who return a negative test should keep monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days. If symptoms develop, call Healthline on 0800 358 5453, get a further test immediately and stay at home until negative result is received.

If you have been in contact with a person who has been asked to isolate because they were in a location of interest, advice is on the website. You do not need to stay home or get tested unless the contact becomes symptomatic at which point, you need to stay at home until they return a negative test result.

If you’ve been in contact with a person who has been asked to stay at home and get a test after five days, you do not need stay at home or get tested. If you become symptomatic yourself, please get tested. A Section 70 notice is in place.

5 comments:

  1. Thomas Coughlan, 23. June 2021, 22:38

    Wellington testing centre operating quite late. Everyone in really good spirits. Great communication from staff too – particularly around what to do if you get conflicting advice (healthline advice supreme apparently). [via twitter]

     
  2. Henry Cooke, 24. June 2021, 13:25

    Covid update: 7000 tests yday, 2100 in Wellington – no positives. [via twitter]

     
  3. Traveller, 24. June 2021, 15:17

    More important than testing centres … How about a list of vaccination centres? If our local DHBs aren’t going to contact anyone, then we should go into the centres and ask for our first and second shots. Or at least try to get an appointment. Or is there a shorter of Pfizer? [CCDHB says vaccinations are continuing during Level 2, but …]

     
  4. Greenwelly, 24. June 2021, 16:07

    Traveller, Yes there is a vaccine shortage… It’s well known we are heavily constrained until mid July. There is no ability to ramp up vaccination rates for at least the next 2 weeks. Plus the fact that many of the swabbers for testing are the same people who are the injectors for vaccination.

     
  5. Alastair, 24. June 2021, 21:00

    Let us hope that the Covid-positive tourist’s single vaccination ensured that he couldn’t be a super spreader. Unwittingly, he visited several potentially super spreading venues and exposed thousands of “close contacts” in Wellington which seems to have one of the lowest rates of vaccination roll-out of any major centre in New Zealand.
    Wellington people are largely unprotected. The rate of vaccination is limited until late July by the trickle of deliveries from Pfizer. There is no excess capacity to rapidly ramp up vaccination if we have a Sydney or Melbourne style community outbreak. The Government has repeatedly misled us.