Wānaka Sun       

Virtual Covid test result for Rhythm and Alps

Posted at 6:00am Thursday 24 Dec, 2020 | By Jo Galer newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz

A Zoom test to prepare for the unpleasant possibility that Covid-19 could rear its head at the Rhythm and Alps music festival in Wānaka was useful to practice systems that everyone hopes will not be needed, says Dr Susan Jack, Southern DHB Medical Officer of Health.

The group of festival organisers, St Johns staff, Police, Queenstown Lakes District Council, the Public Health team from the SDHB, Southern Community Labs, Lakes District Hospital and GP representatives from Wānaka have just met in Queenstown to check they are prepared if an outbreak occurred, with around 10,000 music lovers expected to attend the event.

The “test” group's main messages continued to be that if showing Covid symptoms, get a Covid-19 test and stay away from others until the result comes through; concert goers should use hand sanitiser and keep hands clean, and adhere to the use of QR codes upon entry. Concert goers will also need to ensure that their blue-tooth covid tracer capability is switched on in their app.

“It's always good to do these scenarios and work out any issues ahead of time,” said Jack. A similar exercise was performed in Gisborne in relation to an upcoming music festival there.

She added that currently, as opposed to sometimes at this time of year, there is no influenza in New Zealand, although there could still be the odd seasonal cold.

Although some might question that bringing large groups of people together for concerts could be concerning at this time, or that wearing face masks could be mandatory, “New Zealand is in the fortunate position of there being no reports of COVID-19 within the community at this time so that is the risk assessment.”

“All that residents and visitors to the district need to do if they have any flu or cold symptoms is to call 0800 VIRUS 19 (0800 0800 847 8719). This is a call centre operated by WellSouth who will advise on the closest available location for testing,” said Jack.

Read edition 1006 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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