12 Aug 2020

Covid-19 testing centres boosted after community transmission revealed in Auckland

5:27 am on 12 August 2020

Capacity at Auckland's four community testing centres for Covid-19 has been boosted with additional staff and longer hours.

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A Covid-19 testing site in Auckland (file image). Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

Auckland moves to level 3 at noon today for three days, until midnight on Friday. The rest of New Zealand is entering alert level 2 from midday today for three days, also until midnight on Friday.

It follows Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's announcement that there have been four positive cases of Covid-19 outside of managed isolation or quarantine in Auckland.

People in Auckland should stay home from work or school. Schools and childcare facilities in Auckland will be closed from this morning except for the children of essential service workers, and gatherings of more than 10 people are again restricted in Auckland.

Read more on alert level change:

Traffic management is in place at all four of the Auckland testing sites, but people should expect longer waits than usual.

The centres are:

  • Northcote - 16-18 College Road
  • Eden Terrace - 112 New North Road, entrance via Ngahura Street
  • Henderson - Whanau House, corner of Edsel Stree and Catherine Street
  • Wiri - Whanāu Ora Community Clinic, 25 Druces Road

Two pop-up centres will be open from 9am.

One is in Otara Town Centre carpark, the second at Health New Lynn.

General practices and urgent care clinics are also prepared for a higher volume of testing.

Mobile testing units are on standby to be deployed rapidly to locations throughout the city as directed by public health.

Auckland Region map based on Wellsford to Pukekohe borders

The Auckland region, based on Wellsford to Pukekohe borders. Auckland is going into alert level 3 at noon. Photo: RNZ / Vinay Ranchhod

Northern Region Health Coordination Centre Lead (and Counties Manukau Health CEO) Margie Apa said the health sector in Auckland was well prepared to respond to new community cases but asked people to be patient if they were going to get tested.

"This news is of concern, but we expected to see further community cases in Auckland at some point in this pandemic, and we are well prepared.

"We are working closely with the Ministry of Health and other agencies to ensure everything possible is done to contain the spread of Covid-19 in our communities."

A statement from Auckland DHBs said all health services were regarded as essential and should continue as usual with an additional focus on infection prevention control measures and distancing of patients.

Hospitals will continue with planned care including clinics and surgery and patients should keep their appointments unless advised otherwise by their specialists.

Meanwhile, the city's hospitals and aged residential care facilities are updating their visitor policies and other protocols to protect the most vulnerable.

Apa called for Aucklanders to be vigilant.

"Maintain good hand hygiene. If you are sick, stay home. Keep track of your movements to help us with contact tracing. Maintain physical distancing.

"If you have any symptoms, please get a free test ... If you are unsure, call your local doctor or Healthline. We advise that you ring ahead if you are planning to see your practice."

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