In Level 2 we are trying to recognize any case community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID), so large scale testing is needed. Please refer to national guidance, whether we would like samples for well people or just those with illness that could be COVID-19. This can change from day to day.
We are also testing selected contacts of known cases, staff and healthcare workers, even if they are not unwell.
Testing is done 7 days a week. Expected turnaround time is still <48 hours but occasionally transport to the lab, specially from rural and small town sites can take a while, so please be patient.
Most hospital clinical pathways have been arranged so that a pending COVID test should not delay investigations or admissions.
Selected cases may be tested urgently between the hours 08:00 and 22:00 by phoned request but our capacity is limited to 2 or 3 cases each day. It is usually best to walk the specimen to the lab for urgent testing like this. Turnaround time for rapid testing is <2 hours.
ICU, HDU and Haem/Oncology: please phone 98606 to request. All other locations: please phone the Clinical Microbiologist on duty 027 2905255 to request
Due to large numbers of samples at present (up to 2000 on some days), we can’t relocate swabs which have gone into the COVID stream, for additional testing such as for Influenza and RSV. These need to be requested at the time the swab is first collected, or else send a repeat swab and hand deliver it to the lab.
Dr Chris Mansell
Latest laboratory specimen collection information can be found here