Not everyone who fears they have coronavirus will be tested for the disease in the south-west, an infectious disease expert says.
South West Healthcare's Dr Mark Page said people would only be tested if they had close contact with a known coronavirus case, or they had travelled overseas and within the last 14 days showed symptoms such as fever and respiratory problems.
It comes after a Warrnambool family contacted The Standard with fears over their mother being denied a coronavirus test, despite being considered 'high risk' due to her age and diabetes.
The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, lives at home with her husband who recently underwent coronary bypass surgery.
With a raging temperature and flu-like symptoms, she contacted her local GP clinic, and then Warrnambool Base Hospital, and was advised not to attend and instead stay at home and self-isolate.
"Why the clinic did not assist is strange and why the hospital didn't call mum in for testing is peculiar," one family member said.
"If mum had COVID-19, surely she needs to know given interactions with family and others."
The woman's condition has not worsened but the family said they felt helpless and confused about the region's specific testing requirements.
Dr Page said it was important to be prudent when testing for the virus.
"It's offered to people who are at the highest risk, so people who have had an exposure to COVID-19 whether it is travel or exposure to a proven case, and an illness," he said.
"Just having an illness at the moment won't get you a test unless you're sick enough to be admitted to intensive care.
"Unfortunately whilst we would like to have the testing more readily available, it is not going to be. We understand that for an individual, there is anxiety and worry when an infection is going around but as it currently stands in our community, the chance that you would have it is very, very low without those known exposures."
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