Kia ora koutou
Thank you for your efforts over the last two weeks in response to the Auckland cluster.
Please read and follow the updated guidance on who to test for COVID-19, to ensure we continue to identify community cases and do not have any undetected cases.
As signalled earlier today, the aim is to complete 70,000 tests across the country over the next week, with 30% of testing to occur outside of Auckland.
To date community testing has focussed on symptomatic people. Given the high rates of testing over the last two weeks and the low rates of influenza-like illnesses, community testing over the coming week will include surveillance testing of asymptomatic people. This is similar to what happened when we moved down alert levels earlier in the year.
The essential groups for testing remain unchanged and you should continue to encourage all patients presenting with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to be tested, irrespective of region.
I have asked DHBs to operate ‘pop-up’ testing facilities across the country for additional testing of asymptomatic people.
As always, testing should be free with costs coded in line with previous Ministry advice.
Thank you for your continued and ongoing support as we work together to eliminate COVID-19.
Nga mihi nui,
Dr Ashley Bloomfield
Director General of Health