DRIVE-THROUGH COVID-19 TESTING PULLS INTO ARMIDALE FROM MONDAY

Friday, 24 April 2020

Confirmed local coronavirus cases remains at four

NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has today urged the community to make the most of a new drive-through COVID-19 testing service at Armidale Hospital from Monday, as health authorities increase the level of local testing.

Mr Marshall said Armidale had been identified for its low testing rates and so from Monday, 27 April, a specialised COVID-19 clinic will be set to blitz the community.

“Currently, in Armidale the testing rate sits at nine people per 1,000 head of population, compared to the greater Newcastle area which is at 20 people per 1,000 population,” Mr Marshall said.

“This testing blitz, which will take place from Monday to Friday, will help health authorities ensure a more accurate picture of COVID-19 occurrences across our area.

“The eligibility criteria for testing has been significantly eased as well, allowing anyone who has flu or cold like symptoms including a fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath to be tested.

“I strongly encourage everyone who is eligible to get tested and those wishing to, to can contact their GP or the drive through COVID-19 clinic at Armidale Hospital.”

The Armidale clinic is operating from 10am to 2pm, Monday, 27 April, until Friday, 1 May. People should book an appointment by calling the clinic between 9am and 4.30pm on testing days.

Mr Marshall said anyone who was exhibiting symptoms should isolate at home until they had received further advice from their GP or the hospital.

“If a person tests negative to COVID-19 they will be notified by text message within 24 to 48 hours of the test being taken,” he said.

“Alternatively, if there is a positive test health authorities will contact the patient and work with them to determine where they may have contracted the illness.

“This clinic is only available for a limited time but may be extended depending on demand.”

Mr Marshall confirmed there had been no change in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases within the Northern Tablelands, with the total remaining at four.

“Following the discovery of two COVID-19 cases in the Armidale office of the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FaCS), the remaining 19 staff in that facility were tested, with all returning negative results.

“That means the tally for the Northern Tablelands electorate stands at two in Armidale, one in Inverell and another from Moree, with the Moree person in Tamworth Hospital since testing positive.

“Pleasingly, we’re now up to six locals who have been declared recovered from COVID-19 and that number will only climb next week.”

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