The Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) has opened an acute respiratory clinic that will screen locals for COVID-19 symptoms in Kempsey.
The clinics are being established to screen people with risk factors for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
A clinic was opened in Port Macquarie last week, while the Coffs Harbour clinic opened on Tuesday.
The Kemspey Clinic is open on weekdays from 8am to 12pm. Locals are required to present to the designated triage point at the front of the Emergency Department at Kempsey District Hospital.
MNCLHD Chief Executive Stewart Dowrick said the clinics are recommended for anyone returning from overseas who develop symptoms within 14 days of their return, people who have had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case and develop symptoms within 14 days of last contact.
Testing is also recommended for people admitted to hospital with severe respiratory infection, even if they haven't returned from overseas travel, and for healthcare workers who have a respiratory illness or fever.
Current government advice is that people without symptoms do not need to be tested.
"It is vital that these COVID-19 assessment clinics are not overwhelmed with people who are not in the high risk groups, which could result in delays identifying those most vulnerable," Mr Dowrick said.
"We are continuing to do everything we can to keep our staff, patients and the community safe."
The assessment clinics are open at:
- Kempsey District Hospital, 8am to 12noon weekdays.
- Port Macquarie Base Hospital, 10am to 4pm weekdays
- Coffs Harbour Health Campus, 10am to 2pm weekdays
Outside of these hours, people who are unwell should present to their local Emergency Department.
For more details, call the MNCLHD Assessment Clinic Hotline on 1300 001 956.
The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses such as influenza is to:
- Avoid touching your face
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue, dispose immediately and wash your hands; or cough and sneeze into your elbow if a tissue is not available
- Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
- Stay home if you are sick
Visit the NSW Health website for more information.
We have removed our paywall from our stories about the coronavirus. This is a rapidly changing situation and we to make sure our readers are as informed as possible. If you would like to support our journalists you can subscribe here.