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Drive-through coronavirus testing clinics extended for extra week


Drive-through COVID-19 testing clinics at Tamworth and Armidale have been extended for another week after high demand for the tests. More than 1400 people had been screened at the drive-through at the Tamworth Hospital site. Hunter New England Health said the clinics would now open until at least May 15. It's the second time the testing clinics have been extended by a week. Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has called for drive-through COVID-19 testing sites to be established at Glen Innes, Inverell and Moree. Mr Marshall said by this morning, all appointments at Armidale for the current working week were full, with more than 400 people already tested, but there has been no positive result so far. Currently, in the Northern Tablelands electorate, only three confirmed cases remain, with seven categorised as recovered. Mr Marshall said he had written to HNEH to request drive-through testing services be established in other areas of the region. “The initial purpose of the drive-through testing centre was to increase low rates of COVID-19 screening at Armidale, and I think it is safe to say that has been achieved," he said. “I think it is appropriate we now look at applying the same ‘blitz’ approach to other areas where testing rates are not high enough, including Glen Innes, Inverell and Moree, in order to rule out transmissions which may be going undetected there. “Each of these three local government areas has had confirmed cases of coronavirus in the past, and I think it is only fair vulnerable residents in their communities are extended the opportunity to be tested in their own home town." Mr Marshall said HNEH has indicated it will consider putting in place drive-through testing sites in other areas once the regime in Armidale wraps up. Due to high demand, the Tamworth clinic has been extended to operate from 9am to 4pm until May 15. Those wishing to be tested must call 1800 881 568 (during testing hours) to register before attending the clinic. It is a drive-through service set up in Carpark E on the corner of Johnston and Smith streets. Due to high demand, the Armidale Hospital COVID-19 Clinic has also been extended for an additional week until May 15. Operating hours have also been extended, with the clinic now open from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. Those wishing to be tested must call 0427 923 080 (between 9am and 4:30pm on testing days) to register before attending the clinic. Testing is recommended for those who have cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough or shortness of breath, or for those who have travelled internationally, or on a cruise ship, or have been in touch with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

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