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To Swab or Not to Swab?? That is the question.

July 3, 2020

To Swab or Not to Swab??

Since March we have had constant changes in the rules about when we could and could not swab for COVID. Up until 25th June we were swabbing the slightest cough, cold, runny nose, sore throat or fever. However, on 25th June the rules changed (again) to reflect that there is no COVID in the community currently and we can relax slightly.

The current rules are that we can swab anyone with a cough, cold, fever, runny nose, sore throat and or loss of smell if they meet the Higher Index of Suspicion Criteria. The HIS criteria are as follows: -

in the 14 days prior to illness onset have:

had contact with a confirmed or probable case

had international travel

had direct contact with a person who has travelled overseas (eg Customs and Immigration staff, staff at quarantine/isolation facilities)

worked on an international aircraft or shipping vessel

cleaned at an international airport or maritime port in areas/conveniences visited by international arrivals, or

any other criteria requested by the local Medical Officer of Health

If you do want to discuss your eligibility with us, you are most welcome. During the weekdays, our GP phone triage doctor can call you. At weekends you can only access advice through an appointment with the GP because we run on a skeleton staff.

No doubt the rules around COVID testing will change again in the future and we will continue to advise you on the current situation.

Please remember we are keeping everyone with coughs, colds, sore throats, fevers etc away from everyone else. This is because we can not risk a new community outbreak of COVID affecting our valued patients or staff. It is for that reason that our waiting room remains closed. We are aware that this is inconvenient, but we must keep everyone safe.