Drive-through hubs set up especially for testing coronavirus are beginning to roll out in New Zealand.

Shorecare Northcross, on Auckland's North Shore, was selected to become an assessment centre, swabbing from today, according to its website.

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

This afternoon, people driving past could see tents set up outside the medical centre with drive-through only access and what appeared to be security.

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The tents for Coronavirus tests have been set up outside the North Shore clinic on Saturday. Photo / Sylvie Whinray
The tents for Coronavirus tests have been set up outside the North Shore clinic on Saturday. Photo / Sylvie Whinray

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Visitors were being asked not to leave their cars on arrival and to follow directions for traffic management.

"Our staff will take you through a checklist and if you do fit the criteria, we will register your details and make a time for you to come to an isolated section of our Northcross clinic for testing," the centre said on the website.

"You may receive a txt update if your time changes.

"You will be directed to the testing station and our staff will come to your car.

People driving past could see tents set up outside the medical centre with drive-through only access. Photo / Sylvie Whinray
People driving past could see tents set up outside the medical centre with drive-through only access. Photo / Sylvie Whinray

"If you arrive without phoning first, you will be given these same instructions and directed away to call and make a time with our team.

"Please note there will be very limited parking available due to site constraints."

The clinic said staff assessing patients were required to wear a gown, mask, glasses and gloves.

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"You may need to explain this to young children in advance to avoid them getting frightened."

The Herald contacted the medical clinic for comment but they declined.

A Ministry of Health spokeswoman said: "We can not provide an answer to your questions today but you can expect more on community testing clinics in our updates tomorrow."

The Herald reported this week that community testing centres for Covid-19 would operate throughout Northland from Thursday but people were being advised that they will not provide medical assessment or care.

Staff take people through a checklist and if you fit the criteria, a time will be made to come to an isolated section. Photo / Sylvie Whinray
Staff take people through a checklist and if you fit the criteria, a time will be made to come to an isolated section. Photo / Sylvie Whinray

Northland DHB Medical Officer of Health Dr Catherine Jackson said if people felt unwell or were sick enough to normally see their GP, they should make an appointment with their doctor rather than going to a testing stations.

"The centres are for testing only and will not be providing medical care or assessment.

"The aim of the centres is to take the load off general practice teams and emergency departments and reduce exposure risk for healthcare workers in other walk-in care locations."

The clinic will test you for Covid-19 if:

*Information from Shorecare Northcross

• You have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat AND one of the following:

1. You have travelled overseas (excluding the Pacific Islands) in the 14 days before onset of illness.

OR

2. You've had contact with a confirmed or probable case of Covid-19 in the 14 days before onset of illness.

OR

3. You are a health worker with suspicious clinical lower respiratory illness and possible occupational exposure even if no specific case contact has been identified.

What is Covid-19?

*Information from Shorecare Northcross.

• It is the respiratory illness caused by the virus SARS– COV2 virus.

• In most cases, it causes flu-like respiratory illness; which can occasionally progress to pneumonia, causing difficulty breathing.

• Many other colds and flu-like illnesses are indistinguishable from mild Covid-19.
There is no vaccine, no known specific anti-viral; and no antibiotics will cure this illness.

• Covid-19 may be coming to our community.

• Regardless of the cause, if you have these symptoms of pneumonia; difficulty breathing, and chest pains, please seek medical advice promptly. Phone Healthline (0800 611 116) or your usual GP.