With the country at Alert Level 2, the Bay of Plenty District Health Board’s (BOPDHB) COVID-19 pandemic response is also moving to the next phase. This includes the process for assessment and swabbing for COVID-19.

From Monday 25 May 2020, people with symptoms of COVID-19 will be able to go to their doctor (local GP) for assessment and swabbing where needed.

The Community Based Assessment Centres (CBACs) in Kawerau and Ōpōtiki will close

on Thursday, 28 May. Katikati, Tauranga and Whakatāne CBACs will remain open until Saturday, 30 May 2020.

BOPDHB Community Based Health Lead Dr Joe Bourne says the numbers of people presenting to CBACs has reduced considerably during the past few weeks as a result of there being no active cases in the Bay of Plenty.

“Hence the decision to phase out the CBACs and support general practices moving forward. The BOPDHB, PHOs and PHAs will continue to support general practices with testing set up, testing processes, PPE ordering and case definition changes to ensure the health and welfare of both patients and staff is maintained.”

Dr Bourne says if we were to see an increase in case numbers in our region and need to scale the CBACs up again, the DHB would do so.

Mobile assessment centres, including our kaupapa Māori units – Pahi Tahi and Te Puna Ora o

Mataatua who service our rural and vulnerable communities are continuing into early June.

“We will be working alongside iwi and community providers to determine what these may look like moving forward,” Dr Bourne says.

People with any of the following symptoms should phone their GP in the first instance and you will be advised whether it is appropriate to go into the practice to be assessed and tested:


Shortness of Breath

Sore Throat

Runny Nose

All symptoms can be with or without fever.

BOP and Lakes DHBs have created a new website to help address any COVID-19 questions. The website has the latest health updates relating to COVID-19, plus answers to frequently asked questions. You can find it at: covid19.bopdhb.govt.nz

Enquiries to the BOP HEALTH COVID-19 response team can be emailed to: