COVID-19 testing at the Armidale and Inverell Hospital drive-through clinics has been extended, following a request by Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall, in response to community demand.
Mr Marshall wrote to Hunter New England Health earlier this week asking for hours to be added to all local testing clinics, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreaks in Sydney and the resultant jump in the number of local people seeking to be screened.
Mr Marshall said the actions of an individual with COVID-19, who travelled from Western Sydney to the Central West and west of the State, has shown just how exposed country NSW remains to the pandemic.
"As a means containing the current outbreak and protecting country communities, the State Government has renewed calls for anyone with the slightest symptoms to get tested," Mr Marshall said.
"In response to community concerns about limited opportunities testing locally I urgently wrote to Hunter New England Health demanding it extend the operating hours of COVID-19 clinics across the region.
"Today, I have been advised the clinics at Armidale and Inverell Hospitals have been extended, with the Armidale clinic now open between 12pm and 3pm, Monday to Friday, and the Inverell Hospital clinic between 11.30am to 2.30pm, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
"Bookings are essential and can be made by phoning Armidale Hospital on 0427 923 080."
Mr Marshal said currently there was no change to the operating times at the Glen Innes and Moree Hospital clinics, however adjustments may occur depending on demand.
"It has been determined the current clinic hours at Glen Innes Hospital (1pm to 3pm) and Moree Hospital (10.30am to 12.30pm) are sufficient to handle the existing rate of testing," he said.
"I have been given the assurance demand will be closely monitored and should the need arise these services will also be scaled up.
"I applaud everyone who has already taken it upon themselves to do the right thing this holidays and get screened.
"Testing is the best tool health authorities have to stop the spread of the deadly illness, and so should anyone have symptoms they should contact their local hospital or GP."
Anyone requiring an urgent test outside of clinic hours, should present to their local Emergency Department for immediate testing.