Dr Adam Coltzau
Dr Adam Coltzau

Pop-up testing clinics for COVID-19 come to Southwest

GETTING tested for COVID-19 has been made much easier thanks to South West Hospital and Health Service providing new pop-up testing facilities.

Pop-up screening and testing clinics will be operating at several SWHHS health facilities from today, August 4.

St George Hospital director of medical services Dr Adam Coltzau said testing for COVID-19 already was available at all health facilities in the region.

“No cases of COVID-19 have yet been identified in the Southwest,’’ Dr Coltzau said.

“However, considering the recent outbreak of cases in Brisbane, we believe the establishment of these pop-up screening clinics will provide added support to our existing COVID-19 testing program available through all our health facilities.

“The pop-up clinics are being established at the Charleville Hospital, Roma Hospital, St George Hospital, the Westhaven Aged Care facility in Roma, as well as the Bollon Clinic and Dirranbandi Multipurpose Health Service and will be clearly signposted.

“Any members of the community, as well as staff and aged care residents, are welcome to attend the clinics for assessment and testing, whether or not they have any symptoms.

“If people have no symptoms, they won’t have to self-isolate after testing

“If people have symptoms they will be instructed to self-isolate until the test is clear.

“If your test result is negative, you will receive an SMS to your mobile. If your test is positive, you will be contacted direct by the Darling Downs Public Health Unit for further advice.’’

Dr Coltzau said a big part of Queensland’s successful response to the coronavirus pandemic so far had been widespread testing of people who may have the virus.

“That’s why it’s so important as many people as possible are tested, no matter how mild their symptoms, or even if they have no symptoms but have concerns about their condition,’’ he said.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, fatigue and loss of smell or taste.

“It doesn’t matter if you have just one of these symptoms or a group of them, or whether you feel really sick or just a little unwell – if you’ve got any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor or local health facility immediately to get tested,’’ Dr Coltzau said.

“The sooner we detect an infection, the faster we can do contact tracing and isolate potential cases.

“Getting tested will help us find as many cases in the community as quickly as possible.

“This will ensure we are doing everything we can to manage Queensland’s response to the pandemic – and the statewide recommendation is that everyone should be tested.

“We ask for your co-operation while you wait to be tested as our staff will be working as quickly as possible.

“Testing is simple, easy and free and helps us all keep our communities safe.’’

Testing involves collecting nasal and throat swabs.

Dr Coltzau said all Southwest residents played an important role in helping to protect vulnerable members of the community, such as elderly people, First Nations people and those with pre-existing health conditions.

“As well as being tested for COVID–19, South West residents also can do their part by practising good hygiene – and staying home if you are sick,’’ he said.

“Washing your hands is the gold standard of health advice as far as coronavirus goes.

“Washing your hands properly and often means that you can help prevent viruses from entering your body.

“And keep your distance from others as much as possible – think two big steps.

“If you are in an environment where appropriate physical distancing is difficult, you may want to consider wearing a mask for further protection.’’

Drive-through COVID-19 testing facilities in Southwest Queensland. (Please note, some stations will not begin operation until August 7)
Drive-through COVID-19 testing facilities in Southwest Queensland. (Please note, some stations will not begin operation until August 7)

Anyone with concerns can call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or find up-to-date, reliable information on the Queensland Health website.

Pop-up clinic locations across Queensland are available here.