Locals are being urged to get tested for COVID-19

Respiratory clinic opens in Sale

CONTINUED testing for COVID-19 is more important than ever as restrictions are easing across Gippsland, to prevent a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wellington Respiratory Clinic’s Dr Yousuf Ahmad is urging people in the Wellington community to get tested if they had even the mildest of symptoms, so health professionals could monitor for any community outbreaks and respond quickly.

“This is not a time to get complacent,” he said.

“Even if people have already tested and had a negative result; if they develop mild symptoms in the future, then book an appointment to be re-tested.”

Dr Ahmad said vulnerable people, especially the elderly with any respiratory symptoms at all, should be tested.

“We have come a long way in containing COVID-19 and flattening the curve,” he said.

We need this to continue and remain vigilant.”

Gippsland MHR Darren Chester has also emphasised the ongoing need for symptomatic testing.

“We all must remain vigilant and follow government advice to help prevent this virus from re-emerging in our communities,” he said.

“Gippslanders have done a remarkable job over the past few months, but we cannot think the threat has passed.

“The testing for coronavirus is one of the most important tools we have in this fight – it is helping our health professionals to monitor and control the spread of the virus and keep us safe.

“We all have an important part to play, and I am urging anyone with symptoms to come forward to be tested.”

Gippsland Primary Health Network chief executive Amanda Proposch praised the efforts of the six Gippsland general practices, including Wellington, in setting up the federal government funded respiratory clinics so quickly.

“There was a great deal of work involved, especially in the additional training in infection control and prevention and some clinics having to undergo some refurbishment to meet the requirements,” she said.

“Everyone involved worked very hard to make this happen in a very short time.”

The clinics will be open for a minimum of three months.

The Wellington Respiratory Clinic, at 12 Inglis St, Sale, is open weekdays.

To book, go to www.hotdoc.com.au/medical-centres/sale-VIC-3850/sale-respiratory-clinic/doctors, or phone 5143 7900 and 5143 7981.

Dr Ahmad said the test involved a nasal and mouth swab conducted by a doctor or nurse.

“Results are received as quickly as possible from the pathology clinic,” he added