COVID-19 saliva testing for border workers got underway this month – a service provided by Awanui on behalf of the Ministry of Health.
Saliva testing gives border workers the choice to provide saliva as a sample for surveillance testing for COVID-19 rather than undertake a nasal (nasopharyngeal) swab testing cycle. When a border worker makes the choice to start on the saliva testing programme, employers (PCBUs) will opt their employee into the programme, and the process will start by signing into our Awanui phone app, developed specifically for the programme.
Saliva testing will be undertaken, for the most part, when individuals are at work. Samples will be picked up from workplace drop-off points by our laboratory couriers on a regular basis. Tests will be processed at our labs located across the country.
Saliva testing at the border is a self-service programme where workers can provide their saliva sample into a tube, scan the tube using the phone app, place it in a biohazard bag, and then scan the QR code for the collection box it has been dropped in to. Results are provided within 24 hours from the time the sample is received at our laboratory via a text and through the phone App.
A suite of resources, collection booths and drop-off boxes, instructional videos and information has been developed for the saliva testing programme. Visit our COVID-19 Saliva Testing website for more information. Information on the testing cycle and who can participate in the saliva testing programme can be found here on the Ministry of Health website.