Premier Alan Winde announced on Monday [December 28] that the Western Cape has introduced a risk-adjusted COVID-19 testing strategy in the Cape Town Metro.

This is due to the province experiencing a higher proportion of test positivity than it did during the initial peak of the virus and the increased demand for testing.

As of December 28, the province conducted more than one-million tests and has 38 881 active cases and 3064 hospitalisations.

As it currently stands, the proportion of tests that return a positive result in the province is above 45%,” said Winde.

“This is higher than the proportion recorded during the first peak of the first wave and is very concerning to us. We have also recorded more active cases and more hospitalisations in this second wave, than we did at the peak of the first.”

The risk-adjusted testing strategy in the Cape Metro is meant to ensure that testing capacity is reserved for the most at-risk patients and situations.

The new testing criteria for the public sector in the Cape metro only includes:

– People with coronavirus symptoms admitted to hospital.

– People with coronavirus symptoms, who reside in large, group, confined spaces (old age homes, care homes, prisons etc)

– People with Covid-19 symptoms and who are at high risk of severe disease including those over 45 years old, and those with one or more of the following comorbidities: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart, kidney or lung disease, cancer, TB and HIV (and not on ARV treatment)

– Pre-operative testing of asymptomatic patients awaiting surgery

– Natural deaths at home, where coronavirus symptoms were experienced prior to death

– All healthcare workers with Covid-19 symptoms and healthcare workers who are in quarantine and asymptomatic at day 7 (in order that they can return to work).

– Those who have previously tested positive but have developed new symptoms should only be tested 90 days after their first PCR test.

Anyone who experiences COVID-19 symptoms outside the Cape Metro region can still be tested.

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