This month it was announced that from 11:59pm on 16 September all workers who need to cross Alert Level boundaries to work at a permitted business must get a COVID test, whether they have symptoms or not.
The new order requires permitted travellers to show evidence a COVID-19 test had been undertaken within the last 7 days. If using saliva testing, two tests are required within 7 days at least 48 hours apart.
On 10 September we welcomed the extension of our contract, which was to provide saliva testing services to border workers, to now also include permitted business travelling in and out of Auckland.
Testing for these travellers would be enforced in as little as 6 days, and with it becoming quite apparent that saliva testing was the test of choice for cross-border travellers, our team quickly got on the job.
Within a week we had a new registration platform, mass quantities of testing kits distributed to workplaces, collection centres and petrol stations became pick up and drop off locations, new support and help desk teams were established, and courier drivers manned pop-up drop-off locations to support the huge volume of truck drivers crossing the border.
How saliva testing works
The service works with a web-based app on the permitted worker’s phone. Once the user is registered, they simply collect a test kit from one of our many locations anywhere in the country, complete a self-test following the step-by-step instructions on the app, scan the tube information so the test can be attributed to their details, and drop it off to any of the drop-box locations nationally. The user can show the test has been dropped-off and is processing from their app.
Our extensive courier network collects and delivers the samples to any of our four saliva testing accredited laboratories, and within the 24 hours of the test arriving the user will have their results showing on the app.
A fortnight of saliva testing
In just 14 days our teams;
- registered over 10,500 permitted workers and 700 businesses for saliva testing
- set up 81 sites nationwide for pick-up/drop-off of test kits
- completed over 5,800 saliva tests
- established a customer support team responding to hundreds of email requests each day
- built an online support library for users of the app, with more resources being added each week, and
- set up a new Facebook page – you can follow it here.
A suite of resources, collection booths and drop-off boxes, instructional videos and information has been developed for the saliva testing programme and continues to be expanded to make saliva self-testing an easy and convenient COVID testing option.