COVID-19 testing in the Waikato
Written by John Grant on February 23, 2022
With rapidly growing numbers of people with Covid, demand for testing continues to be high in the Waikato. According to Waikato DHB, the long waits for people to get a test has eased with the rollout of RATs at Greenwood and Founders Theatre testing sites. There is currently no wait time for people to get tested or receive their Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) if eligible.
RATs are being rolled out to the other Waikato COVID-19 testing sites which will help with the demand. General practice and pharmacies are also gearing up to provide RATs over the coming weeks. General practices are also gearing up to use RAT’s in coming weeks.
We are still experiencing delays with the return of COVID-19 test results with a high number awaiting processing. Waikato DHB’s laboratory continues to expand capacity but is advising that non-priority test results may currently take up to seven days. High priority swabs are being resulted within 48 hours.
People who have a PCR test will be notified via text with a link for them to record their positive result and complete an assessment form to indicate what support may be required for their isolation period.
There are still high numbers of tests being requested for those who do not meet the criteria. People should only get tested if they have cold or flu symptoms, have been identified as a close contact of a case, or have been asked to get tested by a health official.
As more people use RATs for COVID-19 testing it will relieve pressure on the laboratory, ensuring those who are unwell and more susceptible to the effects of COVID-19 get timely test results.
It is important if people complete a RAT that they register the result on Mycovidrecord.health.nz. This will link them up to ensure their welfare and manaaki needs are met.
Household and close contacts can also go online and order their RAT to complete their testing regime online with Ministry of Health guidance.
A new testing regime where RATs will be used as the primary test is being rolled out and that will mean symptomatic people and/or asymptomatic close contacts whose RAT is positive will be considered a case and do not need to be verified through a PCR test. This will further relieve pressure on the system. This change will be rolled out to Waikato and other centres.