ARMIDALE DRIVE-THROUGH COVID-19 TESTING EXTENDED FOR SECOND WEEK

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

MORE than 210 Armidale residents have so far been screened for COVID-19 during a targeted and convenient drive-through testing blitz, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today announcing the service at the hospital will be extended for another week.

Mr Marshall said from the moment the first car wound down its window on Monday morning the service has been inundated with proactive people, looking to be tested, and so far there had been no positive results.

“By the time the last swab is taken today (Wednesday, 29 April), it’s expected we will have had a staggering 210 people go through the testing service at Armidale Hospital,” Mr Marshall said.

“In response to the high level of demand, Hunter New England Health is extending the drive through testing service for another week from Monday, 4 May until Friday, 8 May.

“The clinic’s operating hours have also been increased to between 9am and 4pm, with the additional three hours of testing giving clinicians the ability to examine up to 80 people in a day.

“The purpose of this blitz was to increase low local rates of testing as a means of helping health authorities better understand the spread of COVID-19 across our region. I’m pleased to say the people of Armidale have really stepped up, with their efforts helping take us one step closer towards the easing of social distancing restrictions.”

Mr Marshall said appointments for this week were fully booked but people could still contact the number to secure a test for next week.

“If you are someone who is exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath I urge you to call 0427 923 080 and book an appointment to be tested.

“Due to the high phone traffic I know there has been frustration in the community with people unable to get through to speak to an operator to book an appointment.

“I spoke to Hunter New England Health about this issue and I’m pleased to say a second phone line has also been set up to deal with the huge number of calls coming through.

“Anyone who is exhibiting symptoms should isolate at home until they have received advice on their results from their GP or hospital,”

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