FILE Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)

Western Cape expands Covid-19 test criteria

CAPE TOWN –Following a risk-adjusted testing strategy introduced in July due to testing backlogs, the Western Cape government has now expanded its Covid-19 testing criteria.

The new criteria allow for anyone in the Cape Metro and rural regions of the province who is symptomatic to be tested.

The previous risk-adjusted strategy was to ensure testing focussed on those who were high risk, and in September, testing was expanded to include pre-op patients, natural deaths at home as well as symptomatic public sector essential workers, prisoners, school staff and learners.

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“Throughout this period, the laboratories have coped with capacity and we have therefore taken the decision to further expand testing,” said Premier Alan Winde.

He said non-metro areas were not subject to the risk-adjusted testing strategy and testing for all symptomatic people has continued throughout.

“The expansion of testing criteria in September 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 percent,” he said.

Winde added that residents should not let their guard down, to continue wearing masks, and anyone that experiences Covid-19 symptoms should quarantine themselves and avoid contact with others.

 

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