THE first day of the Bathurst 1000 on Thursday will coincide with the return to Bathurst of the Western NSW Local Health District's drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic.
The service will be set up in the Bathurst hockey complex car park off Lions Club Drive, Kelso from 10am-2pm, Thursday to Saturday.
Public health director Priscilla Stanley urged people to keep coming forward for COVID testing as the state's best safeguard against undetected outbreaks of the virus.
"There are currently no known cases of COVID-19 in Bathurst [and ] WNSWLHD has tested more than 8167 people over the past four weeks," Ms Stanley said.
"[But] 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."
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Ms Stanley said testing was free and clients did not need a referral or appointment to attend.
"It's a drive through service so you won't have to leave your car," Ms Stanley said.
"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.
"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 muscle aches.
"The symptoms of COVID-19 can be very mild, so it's important that we increase our testing," Ms Stanley said.
"While most people who have COVID-19 will recover, some people can become very sick, particularly older people or people who are already ill.
"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 other centres. In Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo there are fever clinics set up at the hospital, and testing can also be arranged in all our other hospitals.
If you have any questions or concerns you can ring the National Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 020 080 or healthdirect on 1800 022 222.
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