GIPPSLAND Southern Health Service (GSHS) is introducing a drive-through swabbing clinic at the Leongatha Hospital primary health entrance starting on Tuesday, August 18.

The clinic will run from 8.30am – 4.30pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

GSHS CEO Mark Johnson said the health service was pleased to provide this important service to the local community and he urged anyone with symptoms to get tested.

People with COVID-19 may experience fever, flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath.

The clinics will operate with a booking system to prevent long queues and waiting times.

Anyone with symptoms can call 5654 2777 from Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4pm to be allocated a time slot for their swab to be taken.

On making a booking, Medicare card details are required.

Mr Johnson said it was important that anyone with symptoms get tested and isolate.

“Everyone needs to play their part in preventing spread of this virus. We all need to remain vigilant about hand hygiene, physical distancing, using good cough or sneeze etiquette, staying home as much as possible and always wearing a face mask while in public.”

People who are tested must self-isolate while awaiting results.

There’s a total of 12 cases of coronavirus in South Gippsland, but only five are active cases. The other seven have since recovered.

A GSHS staff member who previously tested positive has now returned two negative COVID swabs and is awaiting a clearance letter to return to work. At this stage, none of the staff member’s close contacts have contracted COVID-19.