A new Covid-19 clinic that uses non-invasive saliva testing opens in Whanganui on Wednesday, January 19.
The saliva testing is part of the wraparound services being implemented by the new Inspire Manaaki Whānau Centre.
Located in the former Inspire Health & Fitness Centre in Wilson St, the iwi/community led initiative aims to proactively manage the impact of Covid-19 in the community through increasing testing and ensuring cases are found early and contained.
"The establishment of the Manaaki Whānau centre is a step towards meeting the needs of our community," Whanganui Inspire Trust chairman Ken Mair said.
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"What we are creating is a Toitu te Whanau - whānau centred approach that is locally led based on what our people are telling us on the ground."
The centre is a collaborative initiative led by Tupoho Social Services in partnership with the Whanganui District Health Board, Te Ranga Tupua Iwi Collective and the Whanganui District Council.
"We believe this is the first time in Aotearoa that a community has set up a centralised approach to deal with Covid.
"This is very timely due to the fact that it is only a matter of days, if not weeks, that we will be dealing with the new variant of Omicron and we believe that this type of testing is another tool to help our whānau with surveillance and build on whānau resilience," Mair said.
The Inspire Manaaki Whānau Centre will be open from Wednesday, January 19, for walk-ins on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am to 3pm.
Optimal testing results require that people do not eat, drink, smoke, vape or chew gum for one hour prior to being tested.
Saliva testing is free with results available within 24 hours.