UPDATED: Fifth COVID-19 case recorded in the ACT as Garran pop-up becomes testing site

Dominic Giannini 12 July 2020 29
Pop-up ED on Garran Oval

The pop-up ED on Garran Oval will now be used as a testing centre for COVID-19 as demand surges. Photo: Region Media.

UPDATED 3:30 pm, 10 July: One new case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the ACT, bringing the total number of active cases to five.

Visitor restrictions for public hospitals and other Canberra Health Services’ public facilities in the ACT will also go back to one visitor per patient per day from next week.

The latest case is a woman in her 20s. She is linked to the previous cases who arrived in the ACT from Victoria before the travel ban was put in place and also attended Westfield Belconnen on Monday, 6 July between 12:00 pm and 12:30 pm with the previous cases.

ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said the risk to the broader community was low, however anyone who attended this location during this time should continue to be vigilant and monitor themselves for symptoms.

The announcement comes as ACT Health confirmed that the pop-up emergency department (ED) at Garran Oval will become a new COVID-19 testing site after demand surged following the outbreak in Victoria and confirmation of the Territory’s first positive cases in over a month.

More than 1,200 tests were conducted yesterday (9 July) across the EPIC drive-through centre and Weston Creek.

The pop-up ED will conduct both drive-through testing from 13 July and walk-in testing from 11 July and operate between 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday.

From Monday 13 July, the West Belconnen Child and Family centre will also operate as a walk-in testing clinic between 9.30 am to 5.00 pm Monday and Friday.

An announcement on another drive-through facility in south Canberra is expected early next week.

Garran residents were alerted to the plans overnight and ACT Health is continuing to work with the local Garran Primary School about the conversion, despite it still being school holidays until the end of next week, ACT Health said. A detailed traffic plan for the site will be released later today (10 July).

“We expect this increase in numbers will continue as people are encouraged to get tested,” ACT Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said yesterday.

“We know this increase in testing has led to lengthy wait times at some of the Respiratory Assessment Clinics and we apologise for the inconvenience and thank people for their patience.

“We are also increasing capacity for ACT Pathology to provide people with their testing results as quickly as possible.”

There have been more than 34,600 negative tests in the ACT since the pandemic began.

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29 Responses to UPDATED: Fifth COVID-19 case recorded in the ACT as Garran pop-up becomes testing site
yen5 yen5 10:10 am 11 Jul 20

No resident in Garran that I know of heard about this on Thursday night. We found out about this when everyone else did. Also the link to the traffic management plan for Garran on the Covid website doesn’t work.

Stephen Page-Murray Stephen Page-Murray 7:00 am 11 Jul 20

NSW cases rapidly increasing. It’s bound to get plenty of use

Jane Stubbs Jane Stubbs 6:47 pm 10 Jul 20

Money well spent....

Gerard Dwyer Gerard Dwyer 4:17 pm 10 Jul 20

Great to see. I hope its warmer for the staff than epic.

Carole Ford Carole Ford 3:24 pm 10 Jul 20

We were prepared, and now it pays off. Fingers crossed we don't need it for it's original purpose.

Amanda Evans Amanda Evans 2:14 pm 10 Jul 20

I assume this a good move, but how will the additional traffic affect those who need to get into the hospital for treatment?

Lynn Stape Lynn Stape 2:09 pm 10 Jul 20

Good I am pleased it is being used and that it will help people in the area get tested.

Joanne Mitchell Joanne Mitchell 12:13 pm 10 Jul 20

Good - testing is needed

    Andrew Logan Andrew Logan 1:10 pm 10 Jul 20

    Joanne, what does testing actually prove though? What’s to prevent you from picking it up on the way home from the testing centre?

    Joanne Mitchell Joanne Mitchell 1:22 pm 10 Jul 20

    Andrew Logan testing proves you don’t have the virus when tested and recommended if you are experiencing even mild symptoms . It’s of course just a point in time - as any test would be . It’s for those who have symptoms and would like to be sure they are not infected . Nb you are also supposed to wear a mask until you get home - even in your car and self isolate while awaiting results so a good chance you won’t pick it up directly after testing .

    Travis Cragg Travis Cragg 2:00 pm 10 Jul 20

    Andrew Logan well, that's if you test negative. If you test positive, it's a bloody big benefit to society.

    Stephen Page-Murray Stephen Page-Murray 6:59 am 11 Jul 20

    Andrew Logan

    And your suggestion is to do what exactly?

Max Robinson Max Robinson 11:48 am 10 Jul 20

Money well spent Andrew Barr. TBH, I never thought I would ever say that.

    Jarrod Sean Jarrod Sean 1:44 pm 10 Jul 20

    Max Robinson money on what?

    Max Robinson Max Robinson 1:58 pm 10 Jul 20

    Jarrod Sean 20 mill on temp hospital

    Jarrod Sean Jarrod Sean 2:06 pm 10 Jul 20

    20m on a hospital that won't get used. Now they are going to use a a storage for test kits for the drive in test site. They could have used epic as a temp hospital. So to me that's a waste of money

    Lynn Stape Lynn Stape 2:11 pm 10 Jul 20

    Jarrod Sean and still it is there and being used. If it saves one life it will be worth every penny. How much is one of your family members lives worth?

    Jarrod Sean Jarrod Sean 2:19 pm 10 Jul 20

    Lynn Stape so 20m on a storage site for test kits for the new drive in. It's just a way for the government to say we used it lol. Like I said they should have used epic as a temp hospital half the cost. Instead of this unit that will never get used for what it is intended for.

    Lynn Stape Lynn Stape 2:20 pm 10 Jul 20

    Jarrod Sean one life is valuable to me, even if you dont think so... have a nice day.

    Lynn Stape Lynn Stape 2:25 pm 10 Jul 20

    Jarrod Sean I followed my dying child to Sydney because ICU didnt have the facilities to deal with the situation and was told that when I got there she would probably have died on the way... this facility gives families the opportunity to not have to follow an ambulance through the night to Sydney whilst praying all the way that their loved one will be alive... the ride in the ambulance adds more danger to the patient and cuts the chances of survival down even lower that before, so this facility gives Covid patients a better chance of survival... one life Jarrod, and the facility has paid for itself ten fold, even if you dont believe it... traveling from the hospital to Epic may well be as dangerous as traveling to Sydney, I dont know but until you can prove it is as safe as houses, then dont knock what can save lives... take it from a mother who knows...

    Justin Watson Justin Watson 3:27 pm 10 Jul 20

    Jarrod Sean It makes more sense to be right next to the major hospital though. Also in the grand scheme of how much money is spent on other things, the 23 million form the ACT budget is not much. The Health budget is several billion a year.

    Mark Scarborough Mark Scarborough 4:01 pm 10 Jul 20

    Insurance policies are a waste of money until the day you need it.

    Juliane Samara Juliane Samara 10:27 pm 10 Jul 20

    Jarrod Sean if they waited until the hospital was over run, and then decided to build the temp hospital, lives would have been at risk. This is a well planned approach to the possible surge capacity needed if covid starts spreading in the community.

    Alex Warne Alex Warne 11:26 pm 10 Jul 20

    Jarrod Sean Id suggest looking into the Spire Project. There’s lots of money being spent upgrading Canberra Hospital

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 11:45 am 11 Jul 20

    Jarrod Sean You know that obesity puts you in a higher risk group for the virus.

    Jarrod Sean Jarrod Sean 11:46 am 11 Jul 20

    Julie Macklin that has nothing Todo with anything related lol

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 11:47 am 11 Jul 20

    Jarrod Sean It doesn't?

    Jarrod Sean Jarrod Sean 11:48 am 11 Jul 20

    Julie Macklin that what are you saying lol

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