MORE than 2200 people came forward for COVID-19 testing in the Shoalhaven at the weekend including nearly 400 people at the Shoalhaven District Hospital Clinic.
While welcoming the increase of testing, especially with the Shoalhaven now having 12 COVID cases (four Friday and Saturday and eight announced Monday), the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) has suggested the community consider getting a test at one of the many alternate testing clinics.
In response to an expected increase in testing in the Shoalhaven over recent days, ISLHD the worked quickly with private partners to establish three new convenient pop-up drive-through clinics over the weekend as an alternative to the Shoalhaven Hospital Clinic, and in addition to existing clinics in Nowra.
They are at Bomaderry, Huskisson and Sussex Inlet.
ISLHD Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery Deborah Cameron thanked the more than 2200 people who got tested over the weekend.
"Where there may be expected long wait times at specific clinics, the community may be encouraged to consider getting a test at one of the many alternate testing clinics, to minimise their wait," Ms Cameron said.
Where there may be expected long wait times at specific clinics, the community may be encouraged to consider getting a test at one of the many alternate testing clinics, to minimise their wait.ISLHD Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery Deborah Cameron
"The community can be assured that all of the local clinics provide similar test result turnaround times."
She said in periods of high demand, the community is asked to attend their nearest clinic and people are encouraged to check the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Facebook page for new clinic details and the ISLHD website for up-to-date opening times.
There were reports of the Shoalhaven Hospital testing site being overwhelmed on the weekend with some people actually being turned away.
Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley has also encouraged community members to "share the load" between the five testing clinic in the region.
On Saturday on social media she said "the hospital is swamped and turning people away from testing - there are more sites online so please share the load/love across the different sites," said Cr Findley.
On Monday (September 6), Cr Findley reiterated her calls to the community to get tested after eight new cases of COVID-19 were recorded for the region, bringing the total number cases in the area to 12.
"There are no differences in testing times," said Cr Findley.
"There are five sites set up across the Shoalhaven at this point in time. So just get tested at a site and don't wait.
"Don't just go to the one site at the Shoalhaven Hospital because you think it's going to be quicker for your results. That's not true. The results are coming through very quickly."
There are also more than 475 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW.
The new Shoalhaven testing sites are located at -
Bomaderry Histopath Drive-Through Clinic, Shoalhaven Indoor Sports Centre Carpark, 90 Cambewarra Road, Bomaderry. Open 8am to 5pm, seven days.
Huskisson Southern IML Drive-Through Clinic, Huskisson Scout Hall Carpark, Kioloa Street, Huskisson. Open 8am to 5pm, seven days.
Sussex Inlet Histopath - Drive-Through Clinic, Sussex Inlet Aquatic Centre, 21 Thomson Street, Sussex Inlet. Open 8am to 4pm, seven days.
Other local testing locations include -
Ulladulla Respiratory Clinic
114 Princes Highway, Ulladulla. Phone 4455 5422.
Shoalhaven District Hospital
2 Scenic Drive, in the Hospital in the Home (HITH) area. Phone: 1300 002 108. No appointment, no doctor referral required. Open 8:30am-12:30pm and 1.15pm - 4.30pm - seven days.
Nowra Southern IML Pathology Drive-Through Clinic
57 Junction Street, Nowra. No appointment, no doctor referral required. Open 9am-5pm - Monday to Friday.
North Nowra Southern IML Pop up Drive-Through Clinic
Bernie Regan Sporting Complex, West Cambewarra Road (enter via Illaroo Road), No appointment, no doctor referral required, Open 8am-5pm - seven days (usual hours).
Nowra Showground Laverty Pop up Drive-Through Clinic
West Street, Nowra. No appointment, no doctor referral required. Open 8am-2pm - Monday to Friday; 8am-12noon Saturday and Sunday.
Anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath, is urged to immediately get tested.
"Even people with mild symptoms, such as fatigue, new muscle aches or pains, a change in taste or smell or a new runny nose, should arrange testing as quickly as possible," Ms Cameron said.
To help stop the spread of COVID-19:
If you are unwell, get tested and isolate right away - don't delay.
Wash your hands regularly. Take hand sanitiser with you when you go out.
Keep your distance. Leave 1.5 metres between yourself and others.
Wear a mask at all times when outside your home, except when exercising.
If you are eligible, please also come forward for vaccination as soon as possible (unless you are a case, contact of case, isolating or have symptoms). There are more than 100 NSW vaccination clinics and outreach locations across the state in addition to GPs and pharmacists.
Check your eligibility at https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility.
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