We need to find COVID-19 if it is in our community.
Accessing rapid antigen testing (RATs): the ability to order rapid antigen tests (RATs) has been added onto the Ministry’s PPE portal.
Rapid antigen tests (generally taken with a front of nose swab) offer a much faster turnaround than a laboratory PCR test (about 15 minutes compared to 2 to 5 days). These are screening tests only, a positive rapid antigen test result must be confirmed with a PCR test.
RAT tests are NOT:
Swabbing is simple, but using an accurate technique improves the accuracy of the test.
The November version of the COVID-19 Testing Strategy for Aotearoa/New Zealand has made weekly surveillance testing available for primary care staff who fit into category 2/3. Please find full information regarding asymptomatic surveillance testing relevant for general practice on pages 10-11.
There are reports that some people have received text messages saying they have tested positive for COVID-19. This is a text scam. If patients tell you they've received one of these text messages informing them of a positive test, please tell them to ignore it and that ALL positive test results are notified by a phone call. Only negative results are notified by text message.