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WC government expands its COVID-19 testing criteria

This allows anyone in the Cape Metro and rural regions of the province who is symptomatic to be tested.

 FILE: A man is tested for the coronavirus. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Government has expanded its COVID-19 testing criteria.

This allows anyone in the Cape Metro and rural regions of the province who is symptomatic to be tested.

Premier Alan Winde's spokesperson Bianca Capazorio explained the new testing criteria included all people with coronavirus symptoms and the pre-operative testing of coronavirus asymptomatic patients awaiting surgery.

“The full set of testing now includes natural deaths that have occurred at home where a person would have experienced COVID-19 symptoms, healthcare workers and anyone who has previously tested positive but has developed new symptoms in 90 days or more after their first test.”

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

In September, testing was expanded further to include asymptomatic pre-op patients, natural deaths at home as well as symptomatic public sector essential workers, prisoners, learners and school staff and employees in workplaces.

Officials said they had now taken the decision to further expand testing as laboratories had coped with the capacity throughout this period.

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