A DRIVE-through COVID-19 testing clinic will be established in Bathurst on Wednesday and Thursday to make it quick and easy for local residents to be checked for coronavirus.
Western NSW Local Health District has conducted the pop-up clinics at a number of smaller towns across its area over the past two months, but this will be the first visit to Bathurst.
The drive-through clinic will be in Harris Park, at the foot of Mount Panorama, from 9am-4pm on both days.
People arriving for a test will enter Harris Park via Hinton Road and exit through the roundabout on Panorama Avenue.
Public health director Priscilla Stanley said it was important to maintain a high rate of testing in the region to keep COVID-19 under control.
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"There are currently no known cases of COVID-19 in Bathurst. WNSWLHD has tested more than 14,862 people over the past four weeks," Ms Stanley said.
"We need to keep testing people so we can stay on top of COVID-19 as the general restrictions around movement start to be decreased.
"COVID-19 tests are always available through GPs and our hospitals. Our plan is for the mobile service to visit a number of smaller communities."
Testing at the drive-through clinic is free and there is no need for a referral or appointment. People can undergo the testing without leaving their car.
"Our staff will be able to come to you, do a short assessment and get your details, and then do a swab from the back of your throat and then the back of your nose," Ms Stanley said.
"The tests are then sent away for analysis which normally takes about 48 hours. If your test is negative, you can request to get those results by text message even faster.
"People who are tested are asked to self-isolate until they get their results."
COVID-19 testing is available for people who have experienced even mild symptoms that can be associated with the disease, including fever, a sore or scratchy throat, a cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, tiredness and aching muscles.
"While most people who have COVID-19 will recover, some people can become very sick, particularly older people or people who are already ill," Ms Stanley said.
"Right now, our message is very simple - if you have any symptoms, even mild ones, arrange to be tested."
The Western Primary Health Network has set up respiratory clinics in Bathurst, Dubbo and Orange, with more to come. In Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo there are fever clinics at the local hospital.
"If you have any questions or concerns you can ring the National Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 020 080 or healthdirect on 1800 022 222," Ms Stanley said.
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