High traffic at Armidale Hospital's drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic has prompted health authorities to extend the service's operating hours, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall announced today.
Mr Marshall wrote to Hunter New England Health requesting the additional hours, after he received calls from constituents unable to book an appointment. More than 100 people have been screened since the service resumed this week.
"Already this week 117 people have been screened for coronavirus at the Armidale Hospital drive-through clinic," Mr Marshall said
"Testing is the number one tool the State Government has to manage and map the spread of the illness, which is why it's positive to see so many people in Armidale heeding the call to be screened.
"In response to the demand the Armidale clinic will now operate between 12pm to 3pm, Monday to Friday, with patients needing to book an appointment by calling 0427 923 080 during those hours.
"Anyone with a cough, a sore or scratchy throat, shortness of breath, loss of taste, loss of smell or a fever 37.5° or higher, should be tested for the illness, even if symptoms are mild.
"The health district will continue to monitor the service and reassess operating hours based on demand.
"Since the pandemic started 2,700 people have been tested at drive-through clinics across our region, providing valuable information to NSW Health and helping keep the electorate COVID-19 free."
Mr Marshall emphasised residents unable to book an appointment at the drive-through clinic should contact their local Emergency Department or GP.
"Just because there might not be an appointment available on a certain day, doesn't mean people should give up and go without getting tested," he said.
"In most cases, Doctors at GP surgeries are testing patients while they remain in their vehicles and I urge people to pursue that avenue should there be no hospital drive-through appointments available.
"Most importantly, people must remember to stay home and isolate until their test results come back negative."
For more information on the NSW Government's response to COVID-19 visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19.