Anyone with flu or cold-like symptoms should get tested for Covid-19, WellSouth medical director Dr Stephen Graham says.
Testing in the Waitaki district is being undertaken at general practice clinics, which are coping well with the demand.
“Testing is free and it’s accessible,” Dr Graham said.
“People do not have to self-isolate, but if you are sick you should stay home until you are symptom-free – just as you would with any cough or cold.”
Waitaki district councillor and Oamaru Pacific Island Community Group president Hana Halalele heaped praise on those who had been tested for Covid-19 when they had been unwell.
“I’m grateful to those in our community who have been symptomatic and are utilising the opportunity to get Covid-19 tested,” Mrs Halalele said.
“I know some people with symptoms choose to take the test just for peace of mind and they should be praised.
“It has been a difficult period for everyone and I know our Pacific community are feeling particularly visible and vulnerable.”
Mrs Halalele wanted to reassure people that the testing was free, regardless of citizenship, immigration or visa status and information would not be shared for immigration-related or other enforcement purposes.
People do not need to be enrolled with a doctor or general practice to be tested, but do need to provide a contact detail such as a phone number to be informed of test results.
Anyone wanting to get a test should call their local general practice or 0800 VIRUS19 (0800 847 8719).