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COVID-19 screening expanding in hope of easing restrictions

Monday, 04 May 2020

As part of the state-wide push for more COVID-19 testing, Barwon Health has enhanced its screening program.

It is believed increased test results will help better understand the presence of the virus in the community.

Following advice from the Department of Health and Human Services, the testing criteria has been widened to better measure the prevalence of COVID-19, which will help inform any Government plans for easing the public health measures in place.

Barwon Health chief executive Frances Diver said anyone with mild symptoms of the virus could be tested, while some high risk patient groups are being proactively screened.

“With the diligence our community has shown we have managed to flatten the curve and reduce the demand on our hospitals. Barwon Health’s focus is now able to shift to managing any community outbreaks, which means our screening criteria is expanding,” Ms Diver said.

“Part of our efforts to detect more cases includes proactively encouraging home-based patients to be screened if they have symptoms and are yet to be tested.

“The Department of Health and Human Services has also determined that we now need to commence surveillance screening to identify asymptomatic cases in the community, prioritising healthcare workers and groups of people who are most vulnerable to the potential impact of COVID-19. This includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, mental health consumers, people who are homeless, and people living with a disability.”

Ms Diver said healthcare workers volunteering for tests, despite not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, would help us understand the presence of the virus in the community.

“We are grateful for all of the work our staff do every day  we are now also asking our staff to  set an example by being testing despite having no symptoms in the best interest of keeping our community safe.”

Appointments for tests can be made by calling 4215 4445 or you can find more information online at www.barwonhealth.org.au/coronavirus.

Media Contacts

Public Affairs and Communications manage all media relations at Barwon Health.

Media phone: 03 4215 1119 Note: This phone number is not for COVID-19 (coronavirus) information. Please call 1800 675 398 for general information. 

Business hours:

Monday to Friday

8.30am to 5pm

Email: media@barwonhealth.org.au