'Game changing' Covid-19 testing helping aid Hawke's Bay labs

With over 3000 Covid-19 swabs processed from community testing centres in the regions, the Hawke's Bay hospital lab is still running smoothly.

Neil Campbell, Head of Microbiology. Source: Supplied

If it wasn't for two high-tech machines installed back in May, all local testing for coronavirus would need to be sent down to Christchurh, as it was during the first wave. 

The Becton Dickinson BD MAX System, an "advanced technology molecular analyser", has the ability to process up to 24 patients at any given time for a range of diseases including Covid-19.

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It's currently running for 12 hours a day processing tests but has the ability to double that if needed to. 

“We processed 600 swabs from the community yesterday, which was a great effort by the team. We were able to get results returned to patients within 24-48 hours," says the lab's head of microbiology, Neil Campbell.  

The other machine is for rapid testing, giving lab staff the ability to test for coronavirus and get rests back within the hour. 

Just yesterday, they were able to process 600 tests from community testing stations. Allowing for results to be returned within the 24-48 hour timeframe. 

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Six hundred scientists and technicians at Southern Community Laboratories, which covers Wellington and most of the South Island are in the middle of collective bargaining. Source: 1 NEWS

“The handling of the swabs and testing is a meticulous job from start to finish and results need to be checked and double-checked.

“I can’t speak highly enough of our team; their commitment and professionalism is outstanding.”

If you have symptoms, call one of the testing stations below or your GP to book a free Covid-19 test. 

  • Napier: 06 650 4000 open 9am-5pm Mon-Sun.
  • Hastings: 06 281 2644 open 8am-8pm Mon-Sun.
  • Wairoa: 06 838 8333 open 8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri.
  • Central Hawke’s Bay residents need to be referred from their doctor