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West Coast DHB to continue mobile COVID-19 sentinel testing across the Coast

Tuesday 12 May 2020Health news2 minutes to read

Registered nurse assessing health of truck driver at Springs Junction

West Coast DHB Registered Nurse Chris Hallaran assessing long-haul Truck Driver, Philip at the Springs Junction CBAC

West Coast DHB will continue undertaking COVID-19 sentinel testing as part of its response to the current pandemic to help determine if there are any undetected cases of COVID-19 on the Coast,” says Medical Officer of Health Dr Cheryl Brunton.

“So far, we have offered sentinel testing in Haast, Bruce Bay, Reefton and Springs Junction, and at Arahura marae. The community response has been fantastic and we thank everyone who turned up for their willingness to get involved.

Testing last week in Springs Junction provided a great opportunity for us to engage with long-haul truck drivers. Understanding where people are travelling from on their way through the Coast helps us build a better picture of what is happening across the Coast as well as other South Island communities.”

“On advice from the Ministry of Health, we are currently looking at offering testing to workplaces where employees travel regularly from other locations to work on the Coast.”

“Our plans also extend to testing health care workers and offering further sentinel testing in other Coast communities as time and resources allow. Testing is voluntary, so no referral is needed as we are interested in testing people with or without COVID-19 symptoms,” Dr Brunton says.

If you think you have COVID symptoms, please call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or phone your own doctor or local clinic; or contact Poutini Waiora (Māori Health and Social Service) – 0800 333 170. COVID-19 symptoms include high temperature (at least 38°C), cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, sneezing and runny nose, temporary loss of smell.  These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19. The symptoms are like other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu. Shortness of breath is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.

Remember, we all play an important role in keeping ourselves, our family/whānau and friends safe.


Please note:  All of the available data on testing rates is available on the Ministry of Health website.


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Page last updated: 10 May 2021

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