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Thursday, January 28, 2021

‘Game on’ for COVID-19 testing

A six-lane drive through COVID-19 clinic that can swab up to 900 people a day has opened at McDonald Jones Stadium.

The new clinic, which greatly boosts testing capacity in the Newcastle area, kicked off on Friday.

Hunter New England Health’s Public Health Physician, David Durrheim, said that, while numbers were stabilising in the region, the 10-day clinic would assist efforts to capture any COVID-19 cases still circulating in the community, particularly ahead of Mother’s Day this Sunday 10 May.

“With Mother’s Day fast approaching, this is a great opportunity for Newcastle locals who have symptoms to be screened for COVID-19,” Dr Durrheim said.

“It will still be important to observe physical distancing and not visit even if you are slightly unwell, but it may put some people’s mind at ease that the new symptoms are not COVID-19.

“Beating COVID-19 is a team sport and we’re asking all locals to play their part.”

The testing clinic will remain open until Sunday 17 May. Photo: Peter Stoop

People who have even mild symptoms such as fatigue, new muscle aches or pains, a change in taste or smell or a new runny nose can also contact the clinic to arrange testing.

NSW has one of the highest testing rates in the world, with capacity to test more than 8,000 people a day.

In addition to the McDonald Jones Stadium service, Hunter New England Health continues to operate clinics at Calvary Mater Newcastle, John Hunter, Maitland, and Belmont hospitals for Newcastle and Hunter locals.

Testing is by appointment only, which can be made from today. Those wishing to be tested can contact the drive-through clinic on 4964 7497 to arrange an appointment, prior to attending.

The clinic will operate 8am to 4.30pm from Friday 8 May until Sunday 17 May.