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Call GP before seeking COVID-19 test

File image/SunLive.

Western Bay of Plenty residents looking to get tested for Covid-19 this weekend are being reminded to call their general practitioner beforehand.

Some GP clinics will be open for testing of their own patients, but for those that are not, 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 throughout the weekend in various locations throughout the region.

It will only be available for people with symptoms to ensure they are a priority.

Surveillance testing will continue to be available for port workers without symptoms who would like to get a test at the Port of Tauranga on Saturday from 8am-12 noon, or they can arrange a test with their GP.

The weekend testing follows a busy week for the WBOP PHO and its GP network who were part of the BOP Health COVID-19 Response team that tested 720 workers at the Port of Tauranga, as well as testing more than 1800 members of the public and other port workers in the community.

CEO Lindsey Webber says GPs and the PHO’s iwi partners, Ngai Te Rangi and Ngati Ranginui, are doing a “amazing job” to keep our communities safe.

“I am immensely proud of the speed and professionalism of our network in responding to the increased demand for testing at short notice.

“Our focus is always on the health and wellbeing of the people and communities we serve and no stone will be left unturned during this ongoing pandemic to ensure we provide continuity of care.”

COVID-19 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.

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