With South Coast residents fearing a second wave of Covid-19 infection in the region, people are being reminded to get tested if they have even the mildest cold or flu symptoms.
Dr Jessie Hoang from the Ulladulla Respiratory Centre said many locals had been tested since the clinic opened in early June, but with recent outbreaks in Victoria, Canberra and on the Far South Coast this week, demand had been stepped up.
She said a third consultation room had been opened at the pop-up covid testing clinic in Ulladulla, with 38 people tested in just four hours during the first day of the school holidays.
“We are seeing a lot more locals and also many visitors booking in for a test,” Dr Hoang said.
However, she said some people were reluctant to be tested because they were concerned, or fearful about taking the test.
“Our registered nurses and doctors are very gentle and we use a softer, more comfortable approach. People should not be frightened to be tested.”
Registered Nurse Paulla Heany has been busy testing people of all ages, from all walks of life at the Ulladulla clinic.
She said people should not be concerned about “being seen” or fear any stigma around coming into the clinic.
“People should be proud that they are coming into be tested and helping to keep our community safe.
“It’s not scary, and we are following very strict hygiene practices, so there’s no need to worry,” she added.
Once people book their appointment by calling 4455 5422 or registering via the NSW Heath website, they are met at the door of the clinic, provided with hand sanitiser and a mask before being taken to a testing room where they are asked questions about their travels and general
health. After being assessed, they take the test.
A doctor is always present to assist elderly patients or anyone who is feeling unwell.
“Everyone is well looked after and the whole process only take about five to 10 minutes,” Paulla said.
“We do two nose swabs and one throat swabs.”
She said children as young as one year old had been tested at the clinic, while many people that work in health and education had returned for second or third tests if requested by their
“Once people have the test, they will be notified of their results via text usually within 24 hours.
“We provide them with all the information about what they need to do if their test is positive.”
Paulla reminded people that, if they have had one negative result, then have cold or flu symptom a week or two later, they should definitely come back and be tested again.
Anyone who has travelled to Victoria, the Far South Coast or who has been in contact with anyone from those regions should be tested as soon as possible.
“Only through widespread testing will we be able to detect new cases and prevent further transmission.
“If you think you just have a runny nose or an itchy throat – get tested,” Dr Hoang reiterated.
The Ulladulla Respiratory Clinic operates for four hours, from 12pm-4pm Monday to Friday and the clinic is deep cleaned every day.
There is no need for a referral and the service is free, however, Dr Hoang said patients must not “just turn up” at the clinic without a booking.