To access COVID-19 testing, call 0800 VIRUS 19. For up-to-date information on COVID-19: Click Here

Queenstown CBAC to scale back

Reduced community demand for COVID-19 testing means the CBAC at Queenstown Memorial Centre will be closing its doors at the end of day Monday 11 May.

There’s been a steady decline in demand for swabbing in Queenstown-Lakes over the past two weeks - in the range of five to a single test per day. Designated practices in the area – including Queenstown Medical Centre and Wakatipu Medical Centre, as well as Wanaka Medical Centre and Aspiring Medical Centre in Wanaka -have the capacity to provide COVID-19 testing to the local population, including international workers and visitors who may not be enrolled with a practice.

And while the CBAC is shutting its doors for now, it remains equipped to quickly scale up again if the need arises.

“This is an indication that our CBACs, as well as our surveillance and outreach swabbing programmes, have done the work they are meant to do: make swabbing accessible for as many people as possible, away from hospital,” says WellSouth medical director, Dr Stephen Graham.

Since WellSouth’s Queenstown CBAC was set up on 24 March, 1373 assessments were carried out and 1363 swabs taken. A pop-up CBAC on 16 April, meanwhile, tested with 353 asymptomatic supermarket shoppers and a further 247 swabs were done at six Queenstown backpacker accommodations 24 to 27April. All tests from the surveillance or outreach testing – aimed at identifying any undetected community transmission of the virus - have been negative.

“Dozens of WellSouth and general practice staff have stepped up to staff the CBACs and do the community testing and they have been real heroes in all this and we are very grateful for their selflessness and for the work they’ve done,” Dr Graham says.

WellSouth’s CBACs in Dunedin and Invercargill continue to operate as usual, 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am to 2pm weekends.

Anyone seeking COVID-19 assessment and testing in the Queenstown Lakes area can see their own general practice or a designated practice and Covid-19 testing is free, regardless of where the testing takes place. See where to get tested.

WellSouth’s 0800 Virus19 (0800 847 8719) call centre continues to operate, providing advice and referring patients to designated and general practices when testing is required.