Tamworth's COVID-19 testing site to start operations
A COVID-19 testing site is set to open its doors on Friday, with the Tamworth GP-led respiratory clinic not far behind. As of 8pm on March 31, there have been 12 confirmed cases in the Tamworth regional area. Gunnedah has no confirmed cases, while there is one case in Armidale and between one to four Inverell, Glen Innes and Tenterfield. So far, other New England towns are free of the virus. Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said he has been lobbying Health Minister Greg Hunt directly to have the respiratory clinic opened in the city. "This will help provide treatment for people who have tested positive and have mild to moderate symptoms," he said. "It will start next week, we are seeing the construction on Peel Street for it now. "It [COVID-19] is in our district but that does not mean panic." Mr Joyce said the pathology testing site, through Douglass Hanly Moir, would be opened this Friday. But, he added, it was not open to the public, GPs would refer patients on for testing if need be. Mr Joyce also said it was important to remember that people with conditions symptomatic of COVID-19 to call their doctor before showing up to find out the protocol. He said this was crucial in limiting the spread of the virus.
"It's turned from a priority to reality," Mr Joyce said.