Expect delays for COVID-19 test results

Hawke’s Bay people who have had a COVID-19 test this week may have to wait a few days longer for their test results following an influx of tests into Hawke’s Bay Hospital’s laboratory.

COVID-19 Senior Responsible Officer Chris Mckenna said today increasing demand for COVID-19 swabs over recent days had created a backlog of 1000 tests to be processed. As a result, the DHB is also sending swabs for processing to the Canterbury Health Lab in Christchurch.

“Both our COVID-19 testing providers and laboratory staff are working incredibly hard to manage demand, so we ask for understanding and patience as we continue testing and work through this backlog.

“By sending the overflow to Christchurch, we hope to reduce this backlog within a day or so.”

Mrs McKenna said it was crucial that only residents got tested if they were experiencing flu-like symptoms such as a cough, runny nose, or sore throat – or if they have been asked by hospital or Public Health staff to get a test.

“We understand with more COVID-19 cases detected in our community people will be anxious, but we ask people do the right thing and only get tested if they need to.

“People who are asymptomatic with no reason to be tested will be turned away,” she said.

Mrs Mckenna said the DHB welcomed Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) to help reduce demand on testing centres in the coming days.

“Guidelines for RAT testing at our community testing centres are being finalised to include critical workers and people who meet certain criteria. People who test positive with a RAT will be considered a probable case and will not require a PCR.”

She said getting vaccinated against COVID-19 remained the best defence from serious illness for both adults and children as those vaccinated are far less likely to fall seriously ill and less likely to transmit the virus.

A full list of COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites in Hawke’s Bay can be found here.



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