Whanganui's community-based assessment centre has seen an influx of people over the last two days seeking a Covid-19 test since its re-emergence in New Zealand.

Over Wednesday and Thursday following the move to alert level 2 there were more than 600 tests completed at the Whanganui Hospital campus CBAC and at some general practices.

Whanganui DHB chief executive Russell Simpson said the shift to alert level 2 had created extra demand and the sudden surge had created queuing at times.

"The CBAC staff thanks the public for being so patient and kind while they wait their turn," Simpson said.

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"The shift to alert level 2 heightened awareness of flu-like illness symptoms. We have seen an influx in people seeking advice, much like the rest of the country.

"This has settled down somewhat, although as expected we still have higher volumes of people looking for advice now, as opposed to under alert level 1."

The CBAC at the hospital campus are also increasing their hours from Friday from 7am to 7pm and on Saturday, August 15 and Sunday August 16, it will be open from 8am to 5pm.

Alert level 2 has also heightened awareness of flu-like illness symptoms and people are seeking advice through the CBAC. Photo / Bevan Conley
Alert level 2 has also heightened awareness of flu-like illness symptoms and people are seeking advice through the CBAC. Photo / Bevan Conley

Simpson said by retaining this operation over the last few months, they had ensured they were ready for a potential resurgence in demand and a change in alert levels.

He said there was adequate staff on site to manage testing but they will be monitoring the situation and the change in hours will be considered based on potential shifts in alert levels.

They will also assess the need for more CBACs in the wider region as the situation continues but for those in more rural areas they are encouraged to ring their doctor first.

Simpson said GPs are set up to do assessments and swabs.

"The lab is in direct contact with all practices to ensure they have adequate supplies."

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People who have flu-like symptoms are urged to ring their GP or Healthline first and from there they may be referred to the CBAC however people can present to a CBAC without making this contact first but they will only be swabbed if they meet the MOH testing criteria for Covid-19 or have been in close contact with a confirmed case.