COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 testing for the community

Throughout the pandemic, Awanui (known then as APHG) was at the forefront of COVID-19 testing for the community.

We provided several core functions:

  • Public surveillance screening (over 1.5 million tests came through our laboratories)
  • Saliva testing rollout option for border workers
  • Testing programmes for seasonal workers
  • Saliva testing for all essential workers needing to transit in and out of Auckland during regionalised lockdowns
  • International border entry testing through our Test to Travel service

To meet this challenge, the Awanui network made significant investments to ensure we can test at the levels required to play this critical role in the national COVID-19 response.

In all our major city centres we switched on new state-of-the-art automated molecular testing platforms. It rapidly ramped up our testing capacity at each of these sites to support the national response.

We also deployed rapid testing equipment into emergency departments to give hospitals the capability for urgent COVID-19 testing. These impressive pieces of technology utilise the same PCR method as the big analysers in the laboratories, but they’re far more compact and work up to four times as fast. They’re not intended for large volumes of tests, but importantly EDs can run a COVID-19 test on a symptomatic patient and know within 25 minutes that they shouldn’t be sharing the same air with other patients.

This equipment, and the work to get them in the country and onsite, amounts to millions of dollars of investment, and they were absolutely critical for New Zealand at the time.  

We then strengthened our network further with the acquisition of Rako Science – who’s core service was COVID-19 saliva-based PCR testing supporting the pre-departure travel market, as well as Māori, community groups and businesses.

As COVID-19 testing was replaced by Rapid Antigen Testing at scale, many of the ‘in-lab’ testing services are no longer required, and now no longer available in their initial form.

Contact our team

Get in touch with us for COVID testing in your workplace, or surveillance screening services.

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