Public health advice on COVID reinfection and PCR testing

It’s important that we continue to identify which, if any new Covid-19 variants (including sub-types of Omicron) are affecting the Tairāwhiti community, especially which sub-types are reinfecting our people.

Genetic tests of the virus to detect the variant/sub-types of Omicron require a PCR test. This is the deep nasal swab test we used to get at the start of the outbreak. (usually done with deep nasal swab, but can also be a throat swab).

  • PCR swabs are only done at a local health clinic and sent away for testing.
  • PCR tests and doctors visits are free of charge.

Anyone who’s had a positive RAT test for the second time (after 90 days) after getting better from the first time of getting sick, and is worried about their symptoms, should see their GP or health practitioner.

 

This visit will likely include a PCR test to identify which sub-type they have, or even if there is a new variant, or not Omicron at all.

The public health advice remains the same for first and then second infections:

  • Current evidence shows that new COVID-19 infections are unlikely to occur within 90 days of a previous COVID-19 infection.
  • If you are diagnosed with COVID, you need to isolate for at least seven days or until you no longer have symptoms.
  • It’s important that if you test positive for COVID, please report it through your My COVID record page or call 0800 222 478, option 3. Our manaaki team will then be able to contact you to see what support you require.
  • Positive RAT results cannot be loaded on My Covid Record within 90 days of a previous result being recorded.
  • Some people may need more than 7 days to recover – we must listen to our bodies and take more time if needed. Extended financial support is available to employers.
  • If you have any questions about what to do or need support,  call our local manaaki team at Takatū Hub on 0800 8862 4482.

For more information on catching COVID again, see https://www.health.govt.nz/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-health-advice-public/covid-19-testing/catching-covid-19-again

 

Please contact me with any questions or feedback.

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