IF YOU have even the mildest suggestion of a fever, dry cough, tiredness, sore throat or headache etc; take the opportunity of the drive-through at the Wonthaggi Hospital and get tested.

The testing station is manned seven days-a-week, 9am to 5pm, and you don’t have to get out of your car.

Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child is encouraging anyone with even mild symptoms, those who work in high contact jobs or who may have come into contact with a suspected positive case to take the precaution of getting tested.

Her comments on ABC Gippsland Radio today come as South Gippsland (3) and Bass Coast (3) added positives in recent days, bringing to 12 as the number of positives in Gippsland – Bass Coast 3, Baw Baw 3, East Gippsland 1, Latrobe 2, South Gippsland 3 and Wellington 0.

Bass Coast Health has conducted over 4000 tests since March 14.

“What we know from the people who have tested positive here is that they were asymptomatic leading up to being tested and had been going about their normal lives, working and interacting with people,” Ms Child said.

“The numbers being tested each day lately has been 40-a-day up from 20 per day and we’re encouraging anyone with even the mildest symptoms to drive in and get tested.”

As well as the drive-through testing station at the Wonthaggi Hospital, the Phillip Island Health Hub is also open seven days-a-week, 24 hours-a-day which is the only 24-hour testing facility outside of Melbourne’s major hospitals.

“If we all kept out distance, didn’t go out when we’re feeling unwell, washed our hands regularly, avoided crowds and got tested if we have even the mildest of symptoms we wouldn’t need to be locked down.

“Whether it’s young people or others who may be over it, we’ve got to stress that we all have to keep doing these things if we are to protect other community members.

“Victoria is doing in the order of 30,000 tests a day and the increased numbers of testing may create some delays in results. This can be anything between 1 and 5 days based on the influx of the day.”


Fast and simple test


Registered Nurse Gabby O’Connor swabs people at Wonthaggi Hospital.

Gabby said people may be frightened of being tested because of rumours they’ve heard about the test being scary.

Patients are swabbed in the throat and nostril, and the test is fast and simple.

“It’s uncomfortable up the nose but it is very quick. I have tested babies through to elderly people here. Babies and young ones handle it well with their parents’ assistance with positioning and distraction,” Gabby said.

“We try to make it fun and light, and joke around with the little kids.

“We provide reassurance and comfort throughout the testing process, and enable the patient and their families to ask any questions they may have.”

Bass MP Jordan Crugnale was on site to see the marquee set up and the first community members drive through on Friday morning, stating: “I strongly encourage people to get tested even with the mildest of symptoms. Drive in, get tested, it’s so much quicker and the BCH staff are just wonderful. We all have to work together, be that model of good behaviour and safe practises, do our bit to track the spread and drive the numbers down.”

So the message is, take the opportunity to get tested at the Wonthaggi Hospital drive-through.

Testing is available at the Wonthaggi Medical Centre, Monday to Friday (Ph: 0492 036 568 or go to www.hotdoc.com.au), Foster Medical Centre Monday to Friday (Ph: 5682 2088), or at the Phillip Island Health Hub (24 hours a day) and Wonthaggi Hospital (9am-5pm, 7 days a week).