Media Release 14 August 2020:

Call your GP is the continuing message to the Western Bay of Plenty public looking for a COVID-19 test this weekend.

Some GP clinics will be open for testing of their own patients, but for those that aren’t, calls will be diverted to Healthline so that people can be assessed and advised where they can receive a test. People can also call Healthline directly on 0800 358 5453.

Additional testing capacity has been set up by the Western Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation (WBOP PHO) as part of a coordinated BOP Health COVID-19 Health response. Testing will be available through the weekend in various locations throughout the region to cater for the expected demand.

At this stage, a drive-through community-based assessment centre, such as the one set up at Baypark earlier this year, is not considered necessary. If that changes, the public will be notified of the location and opening times.

WBOP PHO CEO Lindsey Webber says anyone who needs a test will get one.

“We are working with our local GPs to manage the demand and people will be able to get a test if they need it at multiple testing sites around the region. We will be able to direct them to the most appropriate site.”

Testing will only be available for people with symptoms to ensure they are a priority. All COVID-19-related assessment and testing is free.

Symptoms include a cough, high temperature (at least 38˚C), shortness of breath, a sore throat, sneezing and runny nose, or temporary loss of smell.

These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as colds and flu. Shortness of breath is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.

For more information phone Lindsey Webber on 021 546 363 or email EOC Communications, Bay of Plenty DHB,