SunLive – RAT collection: Tauranga resident warns patience

Residents of Tauranga report “massive waiting times” at collection points for free rapid antigen tests.

The Ministry of Health announced this morning that RATs are available to order for symptomatic people or household contacts through the new launch RAT requesting site.

In a statement released this morning, Jo Pugh, head of the Covid-19 testing and supply group, said the site is a way for the Department of Health to make testing more readily available to those who need it. need.

In addition to the 15 million that arrived last week, 2.6 million RATs arrived on Tuesday, followed by a delivery of 5.1 million RATs on Wednesday.

There are 146 collection sites, 106 testing centers and 21 providers supporting our priority population groups nationwide.

Angela Smart was one of many people who lined up for RATs this morning after the ministry’s announcement.

She has a warning for anyone who wants the tests. And that’s being patient, and bringing a seat.

She says she moved 3m in 25 minutes at a collection point in Tauriko.

“If you are disabled or elderly, it would be a nightmare.

“There may be options available for the disabled or elderly, but I wouldn’t recommend showing up without some sort of seat if you can’t stand for long periods of time.”

People line up to get their RATs. Photo: Angela Smart.

Angela says people go as fast as they can, there are just a lot of people who showed up.

She also urges people to have their order number with them to speed up the process.

“People should pre-order from the government website.”

How to order:

  • Applying for a RAT on the applicant site is a simple step-by-step process. RATs can be requested on behalf of someone else.
  • You can order the test kits on the website (requestrats.covid19.health.nz) or by calling 0800 222 478 (option 3) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.. People must have access to a mobile phone to validate their order.
  • An order number will be assigned to you. You can then collect your RAT order from a collection site referenced on Healthpointor have someone pick it up for you.
  • For people who aren’t sick or a family contact but want to get a RAT for other purposes, like visiting an elderly relative, there are now retail options including the Chemist’s Warehouse and the countdown.

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