Hutt at Heart

New Zealand’s first mobile testing for COVID 19

Getting a COVID-19 test is being made easier across the Hutt Valley through innovation from Te Awakairangi Health Network.

The first community based assessment and swabbing centre (CBAC) opened its doors to the public on Monday 23 March and tested 18 people on the first day.

Since then CBACs have also been opened in Naenae and Wainuiomata, with another opening in Upper Hutt just this week.

Dr Kim Hurst, Silverstream GP and Medical Director of Te Awakairangi Health Network, says “On Friday, we started a mobile COVID-19 assessment and testing service.  We think this might be the first mobile testing in New Zealand.”

“We know some people don’t have access to a car, or are too unwell to drive.  We don’t want people that need testing catching public transport, calling a taxi or Uber driver.”

“When you are referred to a CBAC, we will talk through with you how and where you can be assessed and swabbed, including whether we need to assess you at home.”

Many general practices are testing people at their medical centre, with some practices using portable cabins alongside their practices.

“It’s really important that anyone who is feeling unwell with any condition, calls their local medical centre to discuss their situations and symptoms during this lockdown period,” says Dr Hurst.

To ensure the safety of patients and staff medical centres are seeing people in different ways, such as phone calls or online consultations. Face to face appointments are still available if required.

The full list of CBAC locations and opening hours.

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