North Coast

Testing clinics expanded in wake of latest COVID-19 cases

Additional testing clinics and expanded hours are providing extra opportunities for people in Northern NSW to come forward for COVID-19 testing following recent COVID-19 cases in Queensland.

In the first 24 hours after being alerted to new locations of concern in Byron Bay, more than 800 people turned out to get tested at clinics in Northern NSW. “The response from our community, right across the region, has been outstanding so far. We thank everyone who is taking heed of the latest public health advice.” NNSWLHD Chief Executive, Wayne Jones said.

“From the Tweed border right down to Grafton we’ve seen a positive turnout of people coming forward for testing, and we expect to see these numbers increase even further, as more tests are notified to NSW Health. “It’s imperative that people continue to use the QR check-in codes at every venue or business they visit, as that allows the contact tracers to follow up anyone who may have been at a location of concern.

“Please check the Queensland Health website and the NSW Government websites regularly for updated locations, particularly over the next few days as this situation evolves.” Northern NSW Local Health District has extended the opening hours of the four hospital-based testing clinics in Lismore, Grafton, Byron and Tweed, which are now open from 9.00am – 6.30pm seven days a week.

Additional clinics have been set up in the region:

• Byron Bay QML Pathology Drive-Through, Cavanbah Sports Ground, 249 Ewingsdale Rd, Byron Bay.

Open from 8am to 8pm Monday -Sunday. No referral required.

Byron Bay Walk-in Pop-Up Clinic; Byron Bay surf club, Bay St, Byron Bay.

9am – 5pm. No appointment required.

• Lennox Head QML Pathology Drive-through clinic, Lennox Community Centre, Cnr Park Lane and Mackney Lane.

8am – 8pm Monday – Sunday. No GP referral required.

• Tweed Heads QML Pathology Drive-through clinic, Cnr Wharf and Florence Street, Tweed Heads.

8am – 8pm Monday – Sunday. No GP referral required.

• Lismore QML Pathology Drive – through clinic, 354 Keen Street, Lismore.

8am – 7pm.

Staff and visitors to hospitals and health facilities in Northern NSW are now required to wear a mask as part of added precautions to reduce any risk of transmission.

“Our staff are doing a fantastic job and we’re exceptionally thankful for their continued efforts, especially as the response continues to evolve and change,” Mr Jones said.

People who have been in Greater Brisbane since 20 March who are now in NSW must also comply with the same stay at home restrictions that apply to Greater Brisbane, regardless of their current location.

This means anyone who has been to Greater Brisbane since 20 March is required to stay at home, except for essential reasons that include shopping for food and supplies, exercise, work and medical care, under the Public Health Order. People who have only transited through Brisbane Airport are excluded from these restrictions.

Entry declaration forms were introduced on Saturday 27 March for people who are entering NSW after spending time in Brisbane City Council or Moreton Bay Regional Council areas in the previous 14 days. This requirement has now been extended to Greater Brisbane, which includes Brisbane, Logan, Moreton Bay, Ipswich and Redland Local Government Areas and these declaration forms will be available on the Service NSW website later this evening.

These forms provide critical information to enable NSW Health to contact travellers if required and is for all travellers who intend to enter NSW by air, road and rail. This form includes contact details and confirmation whether people have been to any venues of concern. Declaration forms can be completed within the 24-hour period prior to entering NSW, or on entry to NSW.

NSW Health is advising people in NSW against non-essential travel to the Greater Brisbane area at this time.