26 September 2023

High-risk staff get priority testing

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WA Health’s COVID-19 testing criteria is to be expanded to include police, inmates, cruise ship passengers and people living in areas deemed to be at a high risk of contracting and spreading the deadly Coronavirus.

Minister for Health, Roger Cook said that in addition to the expanded testing criteria, all health care staff would now be prioritised when being tested at COVID clinics across the State.

“This includes, but is not limited to, all clinical staff who have direct patient contact, such as hospital staff, general practitioners and clinic staff,” Mr Cook said.

“Disability support workers, residential aged care workers and pharmacists are also eligible for this testing.”

He said the measures were part of a coordinated effort to protect the health and safety of frontline staff and patients.

“Processes have been put in place to easily identify and prioritise healthcare worker specimens at all of the clinics currently operating in WA,” Mr Cook said.

“There are now seven COVID clinics open across the metropolitan area and one regional clinic operating at Bunbury Health Campus.”

He said COVID-19 testing at clinics in the State was available to people with a fever or acute respiratory infection with proven international travel 14 days before the onset of illness, or proven close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

“The current testing regime in Western Australia reflects the latest advice on how best to respond to the increasing cases of COVID-19 and aligns with the national regime,” Mr Cook said.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure that testing is available to some of the more high-risk populations in Western Australian,” he said.

“Our absolute priority is ensuring that these people can receive the care that they need,” the Minister said.

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