More Workplaces Should Have Access To Government-Funded Rapid Saliva Testing

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As the government abandons its elimination strategy in place of suppression, cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand continue to escalate. In less than a month, the number of daily cases has risen from 50 to over 200.

Testing is an essential part of controlling community spreading. Waiting for an uncomfortable nasal swab at a government-funded testing station can be a barrier to testing. Onsite Saliva (PCR) COVID-19 collection is a good alternative.  

This service makes surveillance testing within workplaces such as schools, construction, and frontline services accessible and efficient. Testing is accurate and reliable with a strict chain of custody and quality control process. The Ministry of Health (MOH) is immediately notified of COVID-19 detections to ensure an efficient and appropriate response.

Results Group NZ, a company that provides COVID-19 saliva surveillance tests, has requested funding for these tests from the government. Resultz Group has a large database of clients who are eager to undertake testing to play their part in keeping the spread of COVID-19 under control, but unfortunately, they cannot all afford the costs involved to pay for the collection and analysis services. 

Asia Pacific Health Group has been awarded the sole government contract to provide funded PCR saliva testing throughout New Zealand. To date, it has been reported that this service does not deliver anywhere near the volume of testing predicted; one has to wonder if this is due to its inaccessibility and impracticality. 

Resultz Group NZ has petitioned the government for universal funding of these tests to make them accessible and practical for businesses to implement across New Zealand.

Managing Director Kyly Coombes says: 

  “Funding should be available to any accredited supplier of COVID-19 testing in New Zealand to allow for greater capacity of analysis and a range of collection options to suit all businesses. In addition to making this testing more accessible, it will have the added bonus of supporting the NZ economy with a much wider reach across small and medium-sized, locally owned businesses”. 

It’s vital that workplaces including schools, daycares and frontline services are able to offer saliva surveillance testing to staff. Frequent screening means being able to identify and isolate infected employees and their close contacts sooner before their reach extends to a greater number of staff, students and households. This simple, quick and onsite service provide results within the next day.  The benefits of these tests far outweigh the costs to the healthcare system and economy if case numbers continue to escalate and further restrictions are put in place. 

Resultz Group NZ expects demand to grow even more as daily cases increase and restrictions are eased. Auckland sees the lion’s share of Covid-19 cases. Currently, no one is allowed to move in or out of the city without an exemption. Nonetheless, the Government has said that the border will be open in the lead-up to Christmas. Aucklanders fleeing the city they’ve been locked in since August will put the rest of the country at risk of infection. It is vital that the NZ Government provides funding to more businesses so they can afford more protection for their staff, clients, and students.