A drive through assessment centre for Covid-19 has launched today at the Whakatāne War Memorial Hall.

The centre has been set up to allow other medical centres, GPs and Whakatāne Hospital to continue providing health services to the public without the threat of Covid-19 transmission.

People with suspected Covid-19 symptoms would be able to drive directly to the centre to be assessed.

"If you have respiratory symptoms, including shortness of breath or a sore throat, or flu-like symptoms you can be assessed at the drive through centre," Med Central director Dr Jethro Le Roy said.

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"All assessment will be based from your car to ensure everyone can safely get support and advice without putting others at risk."

People should ideally seek advice from Healthline 0800 358 5453 or their GP before attending the centre to check whether their symptoms meet the criteria for assessment.

No walk-ins would be accepted and people with symptoms were advised not to use public transport to travel to the centre.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: VirusFacts2

The centre opened for the first time at Whakatāne War Memorial Hall on Short St today and will be open seven days a week from 9am-to 6pm.

Changes to opening hours were likely to change according to community need.

A team of doctors and nurses and support staff would be onsite to help with the process of assessing Covid-19 symptoms, testing, advice and treatment.

If a person was unable to access a vehicle or had other questions or support needs relating to the virus, they could call Te Puna Ora's local information line and press 9 for the dedicated Covid-19 local support line.

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