Western Cape Expands Covid-19 Testing Criteria

The new testing criteria will allow anyone in the Cape Metro and rural regions to test if they are displaying symptoms. This includes people with coronavirus symptoms and asymptomatic patients. 

People who previously tested positive, but developed new symptoms 90 days after their first test will also be covered by the province. 

“In July, the Western Cape introduced the risk-adjusted testing strategy in the metro region, due to severe testing backlogs being experienced by the National Health Laboratory Service. This was to ensure that testing was focused on those who were at the highest risk,” said the provincial government.

The province has made the decision to ease testing criteria because laboratories have been coping, unlike before. 

“The expansion of testing criteria in September 2020 saw an increase in the number of tests being conducted in the Western Cape, however, the average test positivity rate for the province has remained below 10.

Although the province has seen a decline in the number of deaths and infections, people are encouraged to not let their guard down and to continue following measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. 

“There are no reliable tools which would help us to predict the likelihood, location or timing of a resurgence of COVID-19, and ongoing surveillance is key to helping us identify and understand emerging trends.”

The province said people who experiencing any symptoms related to the virus must quarantine and avoid making contact with other people until they have been tested.

Diabetic patients who test positive will be contacted by the VECTOR ( Virtual Emergency Care Tactical Operation) team, which will then monitor their condition and advise a way forward.

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