Kilmore District Health has now closed its drive-through COVID-19 test clinic at JJ Clancy Reserve. Anyone wishing to take a PCR test must book an appointment at Kilmore District Health, while RAT tests are available behind Kilmore Memorial Hall.

By Tricia Mifsud

Kilmore District Health’s COVID-19 testing site at JJ Clancy Reserve is now permanently closed.

People needing to test for COVID-19 are being directed to other locations in Kilmore.

From January 29, polymerase chain reaction, PCR, testing is being made available in Kilmore by appointment only at Kilmore District Health, KDH.

Starting yesterday, anyone in need of a rapid antigen test, RAT, could collect them at the car park behind Kilmore Memorial Hall between 8am to 1pm, seven days a week.

Kilmore District Health’s acting chief executive Jennifer Gilham said the decision was made due to several reasons – the main one was a significant decrease in the amount of PCR tests needed by the community.

“The number of PCR tests needed from the community has significantly reduced given the use of rapid antigen testing and we didn’t need the large space at JJ Clancy Reserve because the distribution of RATs is a quicker process,” she said.

“There is minimal risk of exposure when distributing RATs, so the requirement to have [the testing site] as a drive-through is not there anymore.

“PCR testing is still available when it is recommended, and that’s by appointment at the hospital.”

Ms Gilham confirmed that KDH would continue to ensure there were enough RATs available for the community after relocating the services.

“We’re monitoring our stocks of rapid antigen tests really closely and planning well in advance to ensure we are equipped with enough tests for the community,” she said.

“We also wanted to make it easily accessible to collect RATs … the location is more in the centre of town so people can park and walk up, fill out the test tracker information and pick up the RAT.”

Ms Gilham thanked Mitchell Shire Council and user groups of JJ Clancy Reserve for supporting the drive-through clinic and ensuring the facility was available for the community.

“The drive-through testing was a really important service when we had the demand for PCR testing, and we understand it did put a lot of pressure on other community users of JJ Clancy Reserve,” she said.

“Mitchell Shire Council has been amazing in supporting the delivery of the testing service wherever we’ve been and it was good to be able to hand back the space to the user groups. I’d like to give a big thank you to all the user groups of space in allowing us to use it for the testing site.”

To book a PCR test at Kilmore District Health people can call 5734 2024 between 8am and 1pm.

Tests are also available at Seymour Health and Nexus Super Clinic Wallan via appointment. To make a booking at Seymour, people can call 0436 345 573 or to book at Wallan, people can call 0439 228 189 or visit www.hotdoc.com.au.