The Ministry of Health advised community providers this week, that throat swabs are acceptable in some situations. We have not used them yet in the Waikato. Probably, the rationale is to increase specimen numbers in the face of public reluctance to have nasopharyngeal swabs.
The more community based swabs we can test, the smaller a new outbreak will be when it is detected. So, although throat swabs do collect less virus, we need to accommodate this recommendation and recognise where they could be used and where they shouldn’t. The attached memo outlines our lab advice, which is summarised in the table below. I’ve also posted the memo on the lab.waikato web site for reference. https://lab.waikatodhb.health.nz/collection-guides/