Media Release: Community Screening and Testing for Covid-19 to Start On 6 April
Western Cape Government Health will commence community screening and testing for COVID-19 from Monday, 6 April 2020. This is in line with the President and Minister Mkhize’s announcement that fieldworkers will commence with an active community screening and testing programme. With the number of positive COVID-19 cases spreading in communities, the risk to vulnerable communities is increasing. Government health services are actively trying to find people who might need help through talking to people (screening) and thus to determine whether they need to go for testing so we can refer them for treatment.
“We must ensure that our vulnerable communities are screened and tested in greater numbers to ensure our people are protected against the spread of the COVID-19 disease,” says Dr. Nomafrench Mbombo, MEC for Health in Western Cape. “I myself will be visiting Mbekweni in Paarl tomorrow to give support to our community teams.”
Various initiatives will be rolled out this week, but we will start with the following areas:
Community screening and testing will start in the following areas:
Cape Town Metro sub-districts
Khayelitsha: Town2 and Ilitha Park (Monday)
Eastern: Happy Valley (Monday)
Western: Bo-Kaap (Tuesday)
Tygerberg: Bishop Lavis (Monday)
Klipfontein: Philippi (Tuesday)
Kwanonqaba, Mossel Bay (Monday)
Mbekweni, Cape Winelands (Monday)
Screening and testing will be expanded to other vulnerable communities at high risk of Coronavirus spreading from person to person. Screening will be conducted door-to-door by trained field workers in these areas using simple verbal questions to identify people who may require testing. Health workers will ask health questions aimed at screening for symptom (a sore throat, a cough or fever screening will either be done via community health workers visiting your home, or mobile units in your area (e.g. gazebos). Our fieldworkers will have ID tags and identifiable clothing. We ask the public to please allow our workers to screen them.
Testing will be done if the questions indicate that you require a further test. The health worker will refer you to the closest testing centre. The test will be done by taking a swab from your throat and/or nose. This will either be done in a clinic, or in a mobile parked in your area. Test results will not be immediately available but patients will be followed up and advised of their status.
What individuals must do:
- Please welcome health workers when screening
- Answer the questions honestly.
- Remember the 5 Golden rules: Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, keep surfaces clean, do not touch your face, cough and sneeze in your elbow fold, keep 1,5m away from people, and stay at home
- Please co-operate fully and support family for testing
What communities should do
- Please encourage people to be screened and tested
- Look out for health workers who have official dentification and branded clothing
- Please support our health workers and keep them safe
- Please help to keep communities clean and encourage good behaviour
- Don’t be afraid of testing or potential sick people.
- Please support the elderly and children
Where can I get help:
- Your local NGO or health worker
- Call numbers: National Hotline: 0800 029 999
Provincial hotline: 021 928 4102
WhatsApp “hi” to 0600 123 456
- All lines are operational 24/7
- Your closest clinic (City and Province)
Together, let’s stop the spread of Coronavirus