COVID clinic upgrade

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on May 21, 2020

ALBANY’s first and only drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic has been accredited by the Federal Government as an official Department of Health GP Respiratory Clinic.

Pioneer Health initially established its drive-through testing regime six weeks ago off its own back to enable people to be assessed for COVID-19 there, instead of at the hospital.

Now as an official respiratory clinic, it can cater for more patients per day, including ‘walk-through’ patients.

Dr James Turner, who heads the Albany Drive-Through Respiratory Clinic, said approximately 400 people had visited the facility over the past six weeks and nearly 300 people had been tested.

“So that’s about 16 people per day coming to visit,” he said.

“Now, we could cope with about 100 people per day if we needed to.”

To be tested at the clinic, people must call 9892 0480 or book online at where they will be allocated a specific time slot for a test.

It is open from 9am to noon on weekdays and Dr Turner encouraged patients to take advantage of the free test and come in if they had any flu-like symptoms.

“During this phase of the COVID pandemic, it’s important that anyone with flu-like symptoms is tested to ensure that we identify outbreaks,” he said.

Symptoms include a fever or recent history of fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose or headache.

If the GP on shift deems a test appropriate for a patient, it is conducted via PCR swab and results are received after 48 hours.

A follow-up consultation can be undertaken with the patient’s own GP, regardless of whether that GP is located at Pioneer Health.