Testing clinic to close
Saturday, 20th February, 2021
By Emily Ferguson
Broken Hill’s COVID testing clinics will drop to just one location after continual low testing numbers.
The Thomas Street Clinic will cease COVID testing operations from March 1, with the Drive Thru Clinic at the Community Health Centre becoming the sole testing facility.
FWLHD Chief Executive, Umit Agis said in the last week there were a total of 140 tests completed with 47 administered at the Broken Hill Thomas Street Clinic and half that at the Drive Thru, while the rest spread across the region with 22 coming from interstate travellers.
Screenings continue to record high rates, with about six to seven thousand per week and a total of around 280,000 screenings completed to date.
“Our numbers as you can see at Broken Hill has been very, very low, so it makes it difficult to operate two units being the Drive Thru and also the Thomas Street Clinic,” the Chief Executive said.
“What we have decided based on the numbers and the peak periods that we’re actually seeing people coming through for testing. “We’re going to consolidate our operations to our Community Service building (corner of Sulphide and Crystal Streets) so we’ll maintain the Drive Thru as well as have capacity for walk-ins as well.
“That will commence as of the 1st of March and the hours of operation will also change from 8am to 4pm.
“What we have seen certainly over the course is that most people tend to attend first thing in the morning between 8am and 10am and it really piddles down beyond that.
“In the last ten days we’ve averaged roughly about four to five tests across both sites, so it doesn’t really justify for us to have two fully staffed centres in Broken Hill when numbers are so low.
“Having said that of course we certainly have plans in place as we have been able to do so in the past, if there is a surge and demand we can certainly stand up extra clinics across the city.
“We’d like to certainly see the numbers to continue to be around that number of three or four hundred just to know that we are potentially capturing anyone that may have the illness.”