TODAY staff at the Scott Memorial Hospital in Scone began a drive through Covid-19 test clinic and are calling on all resident who have experienced any symptoms to be tested.
The criteria for testing has expanded from only people who have been overseas or in contact with a know case to broader testing of anyone who has experienced symptoms of symptoms including fever, cough, shortness of breath or a sore throat.
Dr Kerry Chant, the chief medical officer of New South Wales has stressed the importance of people with even very mild symptoms such as a “scratchy throat” to consider they do have Covid-19, until it can be ruled out, as the government tries to identify rates of community to community transmission.
Dr Richard Abbott said it was great news for Scone and the surrounding community.
“This is a very positive move in widening the testing,” said Dr Abbott.
“It is critical to identify sources within the community,” he said.
“Scone has had very low incidence, but it is like tending to a fire, making sure it is under control and doesn’t suddenly get out of control,” he said.
“Although it is positive at the moment, there is always the risk of a second wave and cases which are undetected,” Dr Ricahrd Abbott said.
Dr David Durrheim, public health physician with Hunter New England Health, said they are focusing on areas like Scone and Muswellbrook to detect community transmission early.
“Our goal in focusing on areas like Scone and Muswellbrook is to be absolutely sure there is no risk to the community there. We don’t expect to find big numbers of cases – or indeed many at all – but it’s important we know for sure,” said Dr Durrheim.
“We will only be able to confirm that there is no issue if we increase testing,” he said.
“We are looking for people who live in Scone, Muswellbrook or surrounding communities and have experienced fever or the recent onset of respiratory symptoms, including a cough, shortness of breath or a sore throat,” he saiad.
“If you have recently travelled internationally, or on a cruise ship, or been in touch with a person confirmed to have COVID-19, we also want to hear from you,” Dr David Durrheim said.
Dr Durrheim said anyone who has symptoms should isolate at home until they have received advice from their general practitioner or local hospital.
Scott Memorial Hospital, Scone
- Where: Carpark, Stafford Street, Scone.
- When: 1:30pm – 3:30pm, Monday to Friday.
- Where: Carpark, Brentwood Street, Muswellbrook
- When: 1:30pm – 3:30pm, seven days a week.