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Russel Northe MLA:
Covid-19 Testing in Latrobe Needs Ramping up
Drive through and mobile testing options within the Latrobe Valley urged.
By Portal Admin - 17th August 2020 - Back to News
As the Covid-19 active cases increase throughout the Latrobe Valley Member for Morwell Russell Northe has again called for the State Government to urgently set up drive through and mobile testing options within the Latrobe Valley.
Mr Northe has said that since he had highlighted the testing inadequacies publicly, his office had been inundated with calls from community members who were raising a number of concerns including barriers to receive a test, receiving timely access to tests, and delays in receiving test results.
Mr Northe said that he felt for those who were working on the ground as part of the testing process and who were doing their absolute best in challenging circumstances.
"However these organisations and their employees needed greater support and this is where the State Government needs to step up and establish more options for local residents" Mr Northe said.
"At the moment you either require a GP referral or show symptoms to receive a Covid-19 test in the Latrobe Valley and in some cases people are being rejected for a test on this basis. This is despite the Premier stating very strongly that people should go and get tested" Mr Northe said.
"Even needing a GP referral can add further delay to the whole process which is increasing people’s frustration" added Mr Northe.
Mr Northe also said that a number of local residents have expressed their concern in regard to the number of workers from Melbourne and the suburbs who are currently working on projects in our region on a regular basis, and whether adequate COVID protocols and testing is in place.
"Whilst we welcome some of the economic activity that is occurring in our community and projects being undertaken it is imperative that if workers are regularly interchanging between Melbourne and the Latrobe Valley that appropriate measures are in place to ensure the virus is not being spread unintentionally" Mr Northe said.
"The concept of a mobile testing makes sense to me in these scenarios and whereby multiple employees are interacting on the one site" Mr Northe said.
"We simply can’t afford to allow this virus to spread further in our community and testing is a key component in this regard. On July 30, Latrobe City had 6 active cases yet a week later cases have more than doubled, and that is concerning" Mr Northe concluded.
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