What you need to know about Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) kits
Key messages about Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT)
The Wairarapa DHB is working hard to support the supply of RAT’s to the area. To do this well, we need to make sure that we are clear with everyone regarding who is eligible for free tests, how you access these, and where you can go if you want to buy them for you and your whānau.
·Free Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) are for people who
- Have symptoms or a house hold contacts
- Are a critical worker who are household contacts
- Border worker who is required to be tested under the required testing order
- Who are a higher risk from Covid than the general population
If you do not meet this criteria you can purchase a RATs test from various distributors.
You can order and collect a RATs test from a community collection site. Alternatively a testing site will determine which test (RATs or PCR) is best for you.
·Healthpoint (here) has the latest information on community collection sites.
·The community collection sites ordering process can be accessed via the Ministry of Health website at (here)OR free call 0800 222 478 .
·A delivery option is available for those who cannot easily access a collection site.
·Wairarapa Hospital is not a collection site.
·If you are unsure what you need to do, please contact your GP who will provide you with support and guidance.
·Information about Wairarapa COVID-19 Testing Sites can be found here .
This situation is likely to change in the coming days as more RAT testing options will become available and stock arrives in the area, so please keep an eye on this website for updates.
Remember, if you have cold or flu like symptoms, stay home, isolate and get tested. We can deliver you a RAT if you need us to, we just need a bit more time to get that organised. Alternatively you can also ask a whānau member or friend to collect for you.
The DHB believes it has sufficient supplies of RATs to meet current needs.
We have had confirmation that the following pharmacies are able to provide RATs to eligible people, these are:
·Life Pharmacy Masterton
Masterton Medical Pharmacy
Southend Pharmacy Masterton
·Langs Pharmacy (Featherston)
·Unichem Martinborough Pharmacy
Disposal of RATs
Used RAT kits are considered medical waste and so must be disposed of safely in a zip-locked bag along with normal rubbish.
What are medical practices doing?
In the Wairarapa, all medical practices are offering RAT testing for symptomatic and household contacts.
Please phone ahead to the medical practice so they know you are coming.
All COVID testing is being done through the practices for symptomatic and household contacts.
Close contacts do not need a test, but should monitor and get tested should they develop symptoms.
More RAT testing options will become available in the coming days and weeks as stocks continue to arrive regularly.
The DHB understands that RAT kit will be available in supermarkets in the coming days as the kits begin to flow through the supply chain.
Need emergency care?
The DHB has repeated its message that people only use the Wairarapa Hospital Emergency Department (ED) if they are specifically seeking emergency care.
If people who need emergency care, that is not life threatening they should contact the After Hours service, based at Masterton Medical Centre at 4 Colombo Road, Lansdowne, Masterton.
The After Hours Service provides urgent medical care to ALL Wairarapa and out of town patients.
You do not have to be a patient of Masterton Medical to use this service.
After hours is open weekends and public holidays, 9am-5pm Phone 06 370 0011 Or patients can access telehealth primary care between 5pm-10pm weekdays and 8am-8pm weekends/public holidays through PracticePlus https://practiceplus.nz/
Patients can also call Healthline free on 0800 611 116 which offers free medical advice 24 hours
Need more information about RATs
There is plenty of information around RATs on the Ministry of Health website that offers you more background information.
How to get a COVID-19 vaccination
Information on how to get a vaccination or booster can be found here.
Information on places you can get vaccinated and opening hours in the Wairarapa can be found here
Vaccination for children and young people
The COVID-19 vaccine protects your child, your whānau and your community. It is free and available now for everyone aged 5 and over. More information can be found here.
If you are feeling unwell and think you may have COVID-19 call Healthline.
·The COVID Healthline is supporting people with information and advice about COVID, 24x7. People can call 0800 358 5453 or for international SIMs +64 9 358 5453.
·The COVID Vaccination Healthline provides vaccination information and helps people who are unable to book their vaccination appointment online. The team are available 8am – 8pm 7 days a week on 0800 28 29 26.
More information about how Healthline can support you and your whānau is here .