A DRIVE-THROUGH coronavirus testing clinic at Kelso's Cooke Hockey Complex will remain open for two full weeks after the Bathurst 1000 to ease community concerns over the potential for out-of-town visitors to spread COVID-19 this weekend.
The testing clinic opened on Thursday to coincide with the first day of this year's Bathurst 1000 and was initially confirmed for a three-day run including Friday and Saturday.
But Sue Turcato, the manager of the communicable disease and immunisation at the Bathurst Public Health Unit, confirmed they would keep the clinic open from Monday-Saturday for a fortnight after the race to cover the full COVID-19 incubation period.
Ms Turcato said the drive-through clinic had not seen big numbers on Thursday and Friday (26 on Thursday and about 20 on Friday), but was pleased to see people with even mild flu-like symptoms doing the right thing and getting tested.
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"We have had a couple of racegoers come in for testing but the majority have been local people," Ms Turcato said.
"Some of them were people who had been in other areas and wanted to be sure but the majority have had some mild flu-like symptoms.
"Fortunately, nobody has tested positive in Bathurst for a while so what we're probably seeing is just normal run-of-the-mill hayfever but it's always best to get tested."
Ms Turcato said overall testing numbers had been down in Bathurst in recent weeks, a trend reflected across the state.
"Certainly some complacency sets in but we thought with the Bathurst 1000 here this weekend and people coming from outside of the area we would set up the drive-through clinic to show local people that we are recognising their concerns."
The clinic will be open on Saturday from 10am-2pm but will be closed on Sunday.
It will then reopen from 10am-4pm from Monday to Friday and 10am-2pm on Saturday for the next two weeks.
Testing is free and there is no need a referral or appointment.
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.
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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