The Tauranga COVID-19 Assessment Centre’s first day in its new home at the Trustpower Baypark Stadium has been a success say organisers.

The Tauranga Community Based Assessment Centre (CBAC), which is testing those with potential COVID-19 symptoms, had been relocated to Baypark from the Tauranga Racecourse and opened its doors to the public this morning (Friday 3 April) at 9am.

“The first day at Baypark has gone really well,” said Bay of Plenty Community Based Health Services (BOPCBHS) Lead Dr Joe Bourne. “We have an excellent service set up which is there to respond to anyone that has symptoms which might be linked to COVID-19 which include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing.

“We encourage people to seek advice over the phone first but if they have symptoms which are compatible with COVID-19 to drive to Baypark and they will be assessed. Let’s keep doing the best we can to eliminate COVID-19.”

The opening hours for the CBAC – at Trustpower Baypark Stadium, 81 Truman Lane, Mount Maunganui – remain the same 9am-6pm. It is open seven days a week.

The move to Baypark, which has a greater capacity than the previous site, was made in response to the Ministry of Health’s announcement on Wednesday (1 April) that the case definition for those being assessed at CBACs has been broadened. It now includes anyone with respiratory symptoms consistent with COVID-19, regardless of whether they have recently travelled overseas or had contact with a confirmed case.

“It’s a case of front-footing any potential rise in the numbers seeking assessment  by moving to a location which has got much greater capacity for scaling up should that be necessary,” said Dr Bourne. Dr Bourne added that the Baypark site could handle up to 500 assessments per day if required. Over the nine days between 24 March and 1 April, 1176 people were assessed at the Tauranga CBAC, an average of 130 per day.