Drive through sampling underway

The St. John Ambulance with support from the New Zealand Government and the National Department of Health have set up a drive- through sampling centre at the Taurama Aquatic Centre.

The drive through covid-19 sampling officially started on Monday 3rd of August.

It is open to the public from 7am to 12:30pm daily and will run for the next two weeks.

Citizens who presents symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat or runny nose are encouraged to visit the facility.

Chief executive officer of St. John Ambulance, Matt Cannon explains that his team is only doing the sampling. The actual test will be done as a Polymerase Chain Reaction Test and the samples will be given to the National Department of Health to be tested in an authorized laboratory.

“The sample is a nasal swab where it goes through the nose. It is unpleasant and uncomfortable. It should not be painful but it is uncomfortable and it might make you sneeze but it is safe.”

Cannon further explained the process and procedures that one is expecting when visiting the facility.

“So the first thing when you arrive, your personal details will be recorded and we will conduct a triage. We will ask you what symptoms you have.”

The actual sampling process is a few minutes the most but it has to be done carefully to keep you safe,” continued Cannon.

 “When you come to the testing booth, we will ask you to turn off your vehicle air conditioning system, and to wind down your window. We do not want the window to be full way, so we can lean in to take the sample and it will be over in a few seconds.”

Cannon said this drive through sampling will run as a pilot project during this period and will assess after to see if it can still continue after the two weeks is over.

Jemimah Sukbat