Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announces that the Wellington region will go to Alert Level 2 from 6 p.m. Wednesday. Video / Mark Mitchell
A Wellington Te Papa worker who was told to isolate and take a Covid-19 test is frustrated after struggling to enter a testing station due to lack of facilities and availability.
The employee and his family, who wish to remain anonymous, said there was only one testing station in town (Taranaki Street) and the only other close enough during Wellington’s time (Cannon’s Creek ) only works on Wednesdays.
They said they tried to make a reservation at the Cannon’s Creek test station, but were told they weren’t taking reservations. When asked if he could enter, they refused him saying they were at full capacity and would not be open until after 5 p.m. on Thursday.
Even after telling health workers he was working at Te Papa, no information was given on how to ensure he would be tested quickly.
They said the system is a mess.
“We tried to make a reservation but were told they only do walk-in tours. But when we asked what would happen if we showed up tomorrow and couldn’t get tested , they did not give me an answer.
“Basically the only place people can really go is Taranaki Street in the city. It’s ridiculous. It’s our second largest city and there is only one full-time testing station that works in the city. “
People who were in the same places at the same time as the Australian with Covid-19 were asked to get tested.
The health ministry told those in places of interest to call the helpline.
However, Te Papa’s employee had tried several times to reach the helpline, but there was no response or she was disconnecting.
While the worker wishes to get tested, the employee’s only mode of transportation to the city is the bus, which could put other people at risk.
The family said loopholes in the system prevent people from doing the right thing.
“The only way for him to get in for a test is to take a bus. What if he has Covid? Imagine that. Then half of the bus is infected.
“It’s like Auckland’s only full-time test station is on Queen St. What an absolute mess. It’s terrible.
“When we called Healthline there was no response and we continued to be logged out.
“We’re trying to do the right thing, but the system is so bad it makes you think why should we even bother, it makes you think why should we care if it’s going to be too much difficult.”
To add to the confusion, Dr Ashley Bloomfield told a press conference on Wednesday afternoon that another testing center would also be set up at the ASB Sports Center at 72 Kemp St in Kilbirnie.
However, Wellington City Council spokesperson Richard MacLean later said in a statement that the sports center would not be used as a testing site.
At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Wellington went to Alert Level 2 after a Covid-19 positive man from Sydney visited a series of places in the capital.
Restrictions for the region, including Wairarapa and the Kāpiti Coast, will remain in place until 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
Below Alert Level 2, gatherings are limited to 100 people and face masks would be mandatory on public transport while people were encouraged to wear them while awaiting transport.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told Heather du Plessis-Allan of Newstalk ZB the risk to public health was low – but that didn’t mean there was “no risk “.
“We know we’ve had a few exposure events where we’ve had someone with Covid-19 in an environment where Covid-19 could potentially spread quite quickly. It increases the risk. But it’s still, in the ‘overall a low risk at this point.
Hipkins also urged people to wear masks where social distancing is not possible.
Humans may have the most infectious Delta variant – and if so, this would be the first time the variant has circulated in New Zealand in a community outbreak.
Hipkins told du Plessis-Allan the results for the man’s partner have yet to be released.
The Department of Health confirmed that the Sydney tourist’s four close contacts returned the first negative tests.
Two of the people are in Palmerston North and the other two are in Tauranga.
A new pop-up Covid test center opened at Hataitai Park this afternoon.
HOW TO BE TESTED IN THE WELLINGTON REGION
196-200 Taranaki Street – City of Wellington
Driving test center or guided tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 0800 885 022.
178 Bedford Street, Porirua
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. To reserve, call 0508 672 862.
Kāpiti, medical team, Coastlands Shoppingtown, Paraparaumu
By appointment only. Call 0800 885 022.
Ruahine Street, Hataitai Park, Hataitai
Pop-up test center. Open Thursday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
729 High St, Lower Hutt central, Lower Hutt
Thursday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Preferred dates.
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This notice was published: 2021-06-23 07:51:28