A pop-up testing site will open in Warrnambool tomorrow as demand soars amid rising COVID-19 cases across the region.
South West Healthcare announced the decision a short time ago.
You do not need to make a booking but you do need a registration number to receive results. You can register here.
SWH said with a "sudden" increase in positive cases across Warrnambool and the south-west, its Merri Street testing facility closed today, with a new site opening at the city's Deakin University campus on Wednesday. The new testing site would open daily from 8am-6pm.
This change will allow a larger number of symptomatic people and those seeking confirmation of a positive rapid antigen test (RAT) to get tested.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Due to enormous demand statewide, test results were taking 3-6 days, SWH said in a statement.
"SWH appreciate the issues the community are currently experiencing with regards to accessing both Rapid Assessment Tests (RAT) as well as PCR tests," it said.
Anyone displaying symptoms should isolate until they had a test and received a negative result, SWH said.
"If you test positive, please follow the Department of Health directions on their COVID-19 webpage."
People who can be tested at the facility are individuals with COVID-19 symptoms (headache, fever, sore throat, cough or rash) and individuals who have received a positive RAT and are seeking confirmation through a PCR test.
Those who cannot be tested are people wanting tests for travel or work purposes, those without symptoms who are seeking 'peace of mind' and people who need to be tested before a medical procedure.
If you receive a positive result you will be contacted by the Department of Health via text message and you will be asked a series of nine questions.
Depending on your responses you will be categorised as low, medium or high risk.
If you are considered low risk you will be directed to self-manage and self-isolate, and to contact your GP. If your condition worsens, please call 000. If you are symptomatic and require emergency care please call 000.
"SWH understands that there is a statewide shortage of rapid antigen tests," the statement said.
"SWH do not have RATs to provide to the community at this point in time.
"We understand that this is frustrating, but please be kind to our staff who are working around the clock to do what they can to serve their community."
SWH said the local COVID-19 situation and how it responded was likely to change daily over the course of the next week to ensure it was flexible and adaptive and able to offer the best care.
"We understand that constant change can also be frustrating and confusing. However, we will do our best to communicate changes as quickly and consistently as we can."
To make the testing process quicker, ensure to turn up with the URN (unique registration number).
To keep safe while waiting in the line to be tested, have water and snacks in the car, particularly if the weather is hot, wear a mask and bring something to occupy young children.
Pre-register to get a unique registration number via the form on the South West Healthcare website.
Testing is not available at the Warrnambool Emergency Department or the Camperdown Urgent Care Centre.
For those seeking vaccinations, the SWH vaccination hubs will re-open in Warrnambool on Friday and in Camperdown next Monday, following a short break over the Christmas and New Year period, with bookings for 5-11 year old's becoming available in the system later this week.
The lines were all the way around the football oval as South West Healthcare's Deakin University testing site opened on Wednesday.
We have removed our paywall from our stories about the coronavirus. This is a rapidly changing situation and we aim to make sure our readers are as informed as possible. If you would like to support our journalists you can subscribe here.
Now just one tap with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the convenience of faster news, right at your fingertips with The Standard:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.