Hunter New England Health's new COVID-19 drive through testing clinic at Tomaree Sports Complex opened on Thursday afternoon and was quickly inundated with residents.
The three lane testing station is located in the carpark behind Elizabeth Waring building, near the No. 1 match field, but to join the queue residents must drive into the main entrance to Tomaree Sports Complex off Nelson Bay Road. Staff are on hand to direct cars.
A HNEH spokesperson said that the clinic is by appointment only and will operate from 8am-4pm seven days a week.
"However hours will be extended as required to meet demand," HNEH advised, adding: "Children under the age of five years should be tested at Tomaree Community Hospital Emergency Department."
The health authority is urging anyone who visited the following locations to be on the lookout for COVID-19 symptoms and get tested immediately should any symptoms arise including fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste:
- Salamander Bay Square on July 15
- Salamander Bay Woolworths on July 17 between 2.30pm to closing time, July 18 between 4pm to closing time, July 19 between 12.45pm to closing time, and July 20 between 3pm to closing time.
- Fingal Bay Cafe and Takeaway (Market Street, Fingal Bay) on July 17 between 11.30am and 12pm (noon)
- Don Waring Oval (Tomaree Sports Complex) on July 19 between 8.15am and 10am.
Anna Bay couple Sue and Garry Briggs joined the queue to get tested at about 3pm on Thursday, which required no appointment, and said they only had to line up for a little more than an hour.
The couple said they decided to get the test when Sue developed minor flu-like symptoms.
"I had been in contact with a friend who had been to Salamander Bay shopping centre last Wednesday [July 15]," Sue said. "When I began to get the sniffles Garry and I decided that we would both go and get tested."
Appointments for the drive through testing clinic are still available for Friday, July 24.
To make an appointment phone (02) 4964 7497 between 8am-4pm.
The drive through is the Tomaree Peninsula's third COVID-19 testing clinic. Tomaree Community Hospital's two testing clinics, one run by HNEH (by appointment only) and the other by Laverty Pathology (which requires a GP referral), are each seeing between 300 and 400 people following news that three new cases had been detected in Port Stephens this week, taking the total to four.
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