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Free for all . . . Gore Hospital clinical manager Delwyn Soper and chief executive Karl Metzler are encouraging Eastern Southlanders to take a free Covid-19 test at a popup testing station on Ordsal St on Friday. PHOTO:SANDY EGGLESTON

It is a particularly tricky virus but if it is lurking in Eastern Southland it may soon be flushed out of hiding.

A Covid-19 pop-up testing station will be set up in Ordsal St on Friday.

The testing station is a joint venture involving Gore Health, the Gore District Council, WellSouth primary health network and the Southern District Health Board.

WellSouth director of nursing Wendy Findlay said the pop-up station was a precaution because there had been low numbers of tests taken in Eastern Southland.

“We’ve done a pretty good job at managing Covid when it was here in the district and now we’re making sure we’re Covid-free,” Mrs Findlay said.

“It is a tricky virus so it’s always really important that we can make sure we can get enough people tested to ensure it’s not anywhere we don’t expect it to be.”

She encouraged people to visit the pop-up station between 10am and 4pm.

“Come out and have a test.

“It’s not painful.

“It’s just uncomfortable and it’s quick.”

A tent would be set up in Ordsal St near the Hands of Fame statue.

The street would be blocked off and only people taking the test could drive through.

“There will be traffic management plans in place.”

It would take about three minutes per test but most of that time was filling in paperwork.

Gore Health chief executive Karl Metzler also encouraged people to take the test.

”Anyone can and should get tested – you don’t need to have symptoms,” Mr Metzler said.

”It only takes a few minutes to have the test done and it’s free.”

Southern DHB medical officer of health Dr Susan Jack said testing people who did not show symptoms of Covid-19 was important.

”We reamined at Alert Level 2¬†and there are currently no cases of Covid-19 or community transmission in the district,” Dr Jack said.

”Pop-up testing sites help us to continue to ensure this is the case, particularly as people are moving around the country more.”

Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks said Covid-19 could be present for years and encouraged the community to do everything they could to keep Eastern Southland safe.

“I would urge any Gore district citizens, or wider, if they are feeling any symptoms . . . to make use of this opportunity,” Mr Hicks said.

Testing continues to be available for people with symptoms at general practices throughout the Southern region.

  • Anyone wanting testing should call their GP or 0800 VIRUS19 (0800 847-8719) to be referred for testing.