Coast’s first taste of Covid testing station

Nurses were among the team running the drive through Covid-19 testing station in Silverdale.

On the first day it was open, almost 50 Hibiscus Coast residents took the opportunity to drive through a Covid-19 Community testing station that was temporarily set up in Silverdale last week.

The testing station opened on September 10 and operated for three days. Its presence was promoted on social media (including Hibiscus Matters’ facebook page) and at local medical centres. On the first day,  a small queue formed half an hour before it opened.

While it was set up for people to drive through, several residents took the opportunity to walk to the facility, outside Te Herenga Waka o Orewa community marae in Blue Gum Avenue, to seek a test.

It was the first time in the pandemic that a drive through assessment centre has been set up locally. It was run by Whanau Ora Community Clinic and came about because of a relationship between Whanau Ora and the community marae.

Whanau Ora Community Clinic director George Ngatai says if need be, more clinics can be held locally in future. He is also discussing with the marae the possibility of setting up a health clinic based at the marae.

George and his team were welcomed onto the marae on September 10. The team of 10 was made up of nurses, a doctor and support staff including security.

Whanau Ora Community Clinic currently has six permanent community testing stations around the country as well as a number of mobile units.

The Ministry of Health advise if you have symptoms consistent with Covid-19, such as cold or flu symptoms, you should get a test.

Tests are free and available at your family doctor – call ahead to find out if you need a test and follow their advice – or a designated GP clinic (you don’t need to be enrolled).

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