COVID-19: CBACs not drop-in centres

The process for COVID-19 testing at dedicated CBAC sites requires patients to first phone their GP or Healthline: 0800 358 5453. 

The first Hawke’s Bay Community Based Assessment Centre (CBAC) is operating in Hastings and further centres are being set up in Napier, Flaxmere and Camberley. Health leaders in Wairoa and Central Hawke’s Bay are advising the district health board on how those communities can be best catered for. 

People can only be tested at CBACs if they have a referral from their GP, says Hawke’s Bay District Health Board emergency response operations lead, Claire Caddie. “They are not drop-in centres. 

“If you are ill, you must phone your general practice first. Your doctor will take a full history of your illness and, based on that, will be able to tell you whether you need COVID-19 testing, or whether you need other treatment.” 

Not following that system may risk patients not receiving treatment they need. 

“The team can only test for COVID-19. The risk is that patients with other respiratory ailments, not related to COVID-19, will not get the right treatment if they do not phone their GP first.” 

A second risk is that by having too many people trying to access CBACs, it will become overwhelmed and not be able to adequately manage the testing of all of those who do require the service. 

“Our general practice doctors have access to the latest information on the symptoms that mean someone requires testing. For your own health, you must phone you doctor’s general practice and talk to them first.” 

The CBACs use a drive through system, in which patients are met by team members who assess them and instruct patients on what they need to do.

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