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General practices and urgent care clinics in Tāmaki Makaurau will begin rolling out free supervised rapid antigen testing (RATs) today.
The progressive roll-out to general practices across the city aims to provide quicker test results and a better experience for people, and to reduce demand on PCR laboratories as daily case numbers increase.
This follows the city’s 17 community testing centres (CTCs) now offering most people RATs rather than a PCR. Around 14,000 RATs were distributed at community testing centres across metro Auckland yesterday.
NRHCC Clinical Operations Lead Dr Sarah Hartnall says it’s important that people go to the right place for their test according to their needs.
“If you feel comfortable taking a RAT home to do by yourself, you can go to a community testing centre. PCRs are still available at these centres too, but RATs will give you a result straight away and you won’t be asked to get any more tests if it positive.
“If you want a health practitioner to do a RAT for you or you need medical attention at the same time, you can contact your general practice or an urgent care clinic.
Both RATs from community testing sites and supervised rats from general practices and urgent care clinics are free.
People need to record their RAT result at mycovidrecord.nz() or call 0800 222 478. People who get a supervised RAT will have their result recorded by the general practice or urgent care clinic.
GPs have been providing around 60% of metro Auckland’s PCR testing. The shift to supervised RATs is expected to significantly reduce pressure on PCR laboratories as well as provide a quicker and easier process for people.
There is currently high demand for tests across Auckland, so the NRHCC is asking people to consider whether they really need a test before coming along.
“We’re asking people to only get tested if they have symptoms or are close contacts, so that services can be prioritised for those who are feeling unwell,” Dr Hartnall says.
“We currently have queues, so if you do need a test please bring refreshments and your NHI number, which will help to speed up the process.”
The only people who need to be tested in Auckland are those who:
Some community providers and pharmacies are also progressively rolling out supervised testing, including for unvaccinated, asymptomatic people required to have a test to travel within New Zealand or to comply with Ministry of Justice requirements.
Further information on testing in Auckland is available at Heathpoint.()
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