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Adelaide opens drive-through coronavirus clinic

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South Australia has recorded no new coronavirus cases, as it launches what the State Government calls the nation’s first “drive-through” COVID-19 testing centre at an Adelaide hospital.

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Premier Steven Marshall said a short time ago that “hundreds” of people were being tested for coronavirus, but the numbers of those testing positive had not risen since the seven announced on Friday.

They included conductor Brett Dean, who was to have lead the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for a performance on Saturday, but was quarantined after testing positive upon return from a trip to Taiwan.

A 40-year-old Adelaide woman and her infant baby are also being treated for the virus.

This morning, media were given a preview of the COVID-19 test collection centre opening tomorrow at the Repat hospital at Daw Park.

The government said the service was designed for patients who have been assessed and received a pathology request form from their GPs.

Patients book ahead, then arrive and stay in their vehicle and wait to be swabbed by masked, gloved and gowned SA Pathology nurses, before driving off, with test results to be sent to GPs later.

The drive-through collection centre will be open from Monday to Friday, from 8am – 4.30pm.

Drive-through coronavirus testing at Repat. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Patients will be required to book in advance of attending. Information on how to access the service will be provided to GPs.

SA Pathology’s Clinical Service Director, Dr Tom Dodd, said the drive-through service was one of a number of ways that SA Pathology has increased its services to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“By offering this drive-through collection service, we are making it easier for those people who require tests to get them taken, while also trying to minimise the impact of COVID-19 testing for our GPs and emergency departments,” Dodd said.

“While the drive-through concept is unique, our short trial proved that it is a successful way of safely collecting specimens without exposing the wider public.

“Running in conjunction with our domiciliary testing service, SA Pathology is continuously looking at ways of reducing the risk of spread of COVID-19 within the community.”

More than 100 senior SA Health clinicians and staff will today participate in a mock scenario exercise to aid preparations for COVID-19 and ensure SA Health is equipped to manage its impact.

Marshall said the clinic was part of the government’s “comprehensive plan to prepare, and protect, South Australians from the potential impacts of coronavirus”.

“The health and safety of South Australians is unquestionably my team’s greatest priority,” he said.

“This new clinic forms part of our strong plan which is singularly focused on ensuring South Australia is prepared for the impact of the coronavirus.

“The people of South Australia can be assured that we are a government with a plan in place to tackle the impact of this virus, and that we have world-class clinicians working around the clock preparing for all scenarios.”

Marshall told reporters this afternoon he has cancelled his departure to the US for trade meetings this week as the Government rallies its response to the COVID-19 crisis.

He will either fly out next week or not go at all.

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