13 May 2020

Should I get tested for COVID-19? If you have symptoms, the answer is still yes

| Genevieve Jacobs
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COVID-19 testing at EPIC

COVID-19 drive through testing continues to be available at EPC. Photo: File.

More than 12,000 Canberrans have now tested negative for COVID-19 across all ACT testing centres, ACT Health said today.

There have been no new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours and the total number of infections for all ACT residents remains at 107. Three people lost their lives to the virus, and 12,260 people have tested negative.

But while the ACT Government continues to carefully ease the public health restrictions based on expert medical advice, ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman is reminding Canberrans that now is not the time to lose focus.

“I have said on numerous occasions, failing to follow the physical distancing and social gathering restrictions can undermine all of our hard work very quickly,” Dr Coleman said. “As we’ve seen overseas, it only takes one mistake or lapse in concentration from the community to result in a new outbreak.”

Testing criteria has been expanded after the ACT’s testing laboratory capacity increased although the number of people who met the previous testing criteria dropped due to physical distancing measures and reduced travel.

You can get tested for COVID-19 in the ACT if you have a fever of 38 degrees or greater (or recent history of fever such as chills or night sweats) or respiratory infection (such as shortness of breath, a cough or sore throat).

Expanded testing means that there’s a greater chance of detecting potential community transmission which to date has not been a feature of the ACT’s COVID-19 trajectory.

COVID-19 testing is available without an appointment at:

  • The Weston Creek Walk-in Centre (24 Parkinson St, Weston). Open 7:30 am to 10:00 pm daily, including public holidays. Please ensure you use a mask and hand sanitiser available at the front door.
  • The Drive Through Respiratory Assessment Clinic at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC, Flemington Rd & Northbourne Ave, Mitchell). Open 9:30 am to 6:00 pm daily (last car accepted at 5:00 pm), including public holidays. You must be driving or be a passenger in a registered motor vehicle or motorbike to attend this clinic. It cannot be accessed from public transport or on foot.
  • Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health & Community Services (63 Boolimba Crescent, Narrabundah). Open 9:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. The Winnunga Nimmityjah Respiratory Clinic provides a culturally appropriate assessment and testing centre for First Nations people and existing clients of Winnunga. Before visiting call ahead on 6284 6222 to let them know you think you may have COVID-19.

You will need to make an appointment to be tested at:

  • YourGP@Crace (1/5 Baratta Street, Crace). Open 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday. Please call 6109 0000 to book an appointment or book online.
  • Lakeview Medical Practice Tuggeranong (1/216 Cowlishaw Street, Greenway). Open 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Monday to Friday. Please call 6185 1986 to book an appointment.

The ACT Government has established a dedicated COVID-19 website for all information about the health and economic response to the pandemic in the ACT. For further information visit www.covid19.act.gov.au.

The ACT Government has also established a helpline to assist Canberrans through the challenges of COVID-19. The COVID-19 Helpline is 6207 7244 and open between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm daily.

People who are concerned and want further information on the virus can also call the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For details on how the ACT stats compare to other jurisdictions across Australia, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website. This information is updated daily.

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