'I find it appalling': Former nurse lays complaint about testing station

Author
Lane Nichols, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 13 Nov 2020, 1:45PM
There were queues at the testing station at Freyberg Place in the Auckland CBD this morning. Photo / Michael Craig
There were queues at the testing station at Freyberg Place in the Auckland CBD this morning. Photo / Michael Craig

'I find it appalling': Former nurse lays complaint about testing station

Author
Lane Nichols, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 13 Nov 2020, 1:45PM

A former ICU nurse has slammed the conditions at a central Auckland Covid-19 testing station, saying she is appalled by the delays, understaffing and lack of PPE.

The 47-year-old, who asked not to be named, arrived at the Wynyard Quarter testing station about 9.30am today for a check following the announcement of a new community infection in the central city yesterday.

And despite being first in a queue of vehicles she left after 90 minutes, still waiting to be tested.

The woman told the Herald staff said they would test a queue of pedestrians first. About 30 pedestrians were waiting to be tested.

She was instructed to get out of her car and line up on foot. She refused, saying she did not want to expose herself to other people who were potentially infectious.

She said the station appeared to have only two staff members carrying out tests which caused delays. Though they wore full PPE (personal protective equipment), other security staff wore only cloth surgical masks, she said.

"We know that's not good enough. All of these people should be wearing proper N95 masks and face shields.

"As a nurse I find it appalling."

A security staff member dealing with people in the pedestrian queue and talking to potentially infectious patients through car windows told her the station was late setting up.

The woman said given what we knew about the virus, officials needed to be able to mobilise testing stations quickly and respond with agility when and if community outbreaks occurred.

"Why are these staff not properly equipped?

"It should be a well-oiled machine. There should be plenty of staff."

After waiting around 90 minutes, she left about 11am without being tested. There was a queue of about 70 cars behind her which had not moved an inch.

The woman had now booked in for a test with her GP and lodged a formal complaint with Auckland Regional Public Health.

The Herald has sought comment from Auckland Regional Public Health Service.