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Horsham residents concerned they may have coronavirus can now visit a designated assessment clinic.

Wimmera Health Care Group has opened a COVID-19 assessment clinic at the east end of the Wyuna Sub-Acute Unit to fast-track assessments on Horsham residents. The clinic will be open every day including weekends.

WHCG director of Clinical Improvement, Risk and Innovation Sally Taylor said the clinic would ease the workload from the town's already over-burdened medical clinics and the hospital's emergency department.

“While the number of people wanting to be tested are minimal at present, they will continue to increase as confirmed cases become a reality in the region,” Mrs Taylor said.

“Establishing the assessment clinic now will ensure we are ready to support our community through this period of uncertainty,” she said.

“While there are still no confirmed cases in the region, it is only a matter of time before that changes.”

Mrs Taylor said the clinic would initially be opened from 12 noon to 6pm each day.

“If the numbers ever get too much to control, we will increase our opening times or staff numbers,” she said.

“I would also strongly suggest that where possible, people needing to be tested should come alone to avoid any risk of further contamination.

“Every possible precaution will be taken at the assessment clinic and it will certainly be a safer environment than attending a medical centre or emergency department but there is no point taking unnecessary risks with perfectly healthy people.”

Mrs Taylor said not everyone presenting at the clinic would be swabbed for coronavirus.

“The initial assessment will determine if people are at risk and need to be swabbed,” she said.

“Everyone needs to be aware that all health resources need to be dedicated to those most likely to have the virus.

“For this reason there is also a criteria to meet the need for assessment.”

Criteria for assessment includes:

  • Anyone with shortness of breath or fever.
  • Anyone who has returned from overseas in the past 14 days
  • Anyone who has been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 daysA yellow line on the footpath will help direct people to the entrance.
  • Access to the respiratory assessment clinic will be strictly from Wyuna’s rear entrance in Read Street to prevent potential coronavirus carriers entering the hospital confines.