Port Lincoln COVID-19 clinic opens

CLINIC: Dr John Williams and Dr Susan Merrett outside the new COVID-19 clinic behind the Port Lincoln hospital.
CLINIC: Dr John Williams and Dr Susan Merrett outside the new COVID-19 clinic behind the Port Lincoln hospital.

A clinic organised to test people for COVID-19 has opened in Port Lincoln on Monday, one of two to open across the Eyre and Far North Local Health Network.

The clinic opened at the rear of the Port Lincoln Hospital from 9am Monday, accessible from Marine Avenue and is organised as a drive-thru clinic where people are tested from their car by clinic staff.

Eyre and Far North Local Health Network executive director medical services, Dr Susan Merrett said people needed to get a referral from a general practitioner before attending the clinic.

She said SA Health started the clinic and see what demand was there for testing.

"If the demand increases, we will put in additional resources to meet the demand," she said.

"If people have got symptoms and have some concern they should ring their GP clinic and a GP will determine if they are in one of the high risk groups."

People at risk of contracting COVID-19 are those who have recently travelled from overseas or have been in contact with someone who has a confirmed case of the virus.

Once a GP has made a referral to the clinic, staff will phone the patient and organise a time to come to the clinic.

Staff conduct a throat and nose swab and once done people will be required to self isolate until the result returns from the SA Pathology virology lab, which could take about three days.

Investigator Clinic GP, Dr John Williams said people needed to ring their clinic and a consultation could be done by phone or by video call.

"Australia and South Australia have one of the highest testing rates in the world so we can be reassured we can have a fairly accurate picture of what's going on with COVID-19," he said.

Dr Williams said hand washing and social isolation has been proven to be the most effective method in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

A clinic also opened in Ceduna on Monday.