Pop-up COVID clinic sets up in Port Douglas following high demand

COVID-19 TESTING

Karlie Brady

Journalist

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QML Pathology has opened a walk-in clinic at the Port Douglas Community Hall on Mowbray Street. Image: Karlie Brady.
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A pop up COVID-19 testing clinic has been set up in Port Douglas today to cope with the high demand for testing in the region following an influx of Victorian tourists and holidays makers returning home.

QML Pathology has opened a walk-in clinic with no booking required, at the Port Douglas Community Hall on Mowbray Street, in response to the overwhelming demand for testing at the Mossman Hospital drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic.

The pop-up clinic opened today until 4:00pm and will again run on Thursday between 9:00am and 3:00pm with QLM Manager for NQ, Larissa McLeod saying if the need is still there, they could open again next week.

“We will be here today and tomorrow and if there is an ongoing need after that we will continue to have a short-term clinic running here in Port Douglas,” she said.

“We were approached yesterday by public health in response to the high demand at the Mossman clinic, so they asked us if we could assist by setting up a clinic here in Port Douglas to take some of the load off.”

In Port Douglas around 30 people had already presented for a test in the first hour.

“About half have been from Victoria and about half were locals who have had contact with these people and would like to get tested,” Ms McLeod said.

“The people of Port Douglas have been great, they have been polite and grateful to have us here, many have come over from Mossman and they’re happy not to have to wait in the line.”

Testing clinics across the state have been inundated with people recently after Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young directed anyone who has been in Victoria since 21 December to get tested and self-isolate until they receive a negative test.

Today she expanded the list of those who need to get tested to include those who have visited Orange, Nyngan or Broken Hill in regional NSW on 2-3 January. Currently Queensland's borders remain open to all of Australia except Greater Sydney, which has been declared a hotspot.

The Mossman Hospital drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic is open from 8.30am to 4:00pm, Monday to Friday, operating at the Mossman School Dental Van, access via Hospital Street, Mossman.

This clinic is by appointment only. Bookings can be made by calling 0459 803 382.

A/Director of Nursing & Midwifery and Facility Manager, at Mossman Hospital, Ruth Crimmins, urged people to be patient when making a booking.

“The clinic is extremely busy, and bookings are essential,” she said.

“Please leave one message only with your name and number. We will return your call as soon as possible. If you are unable to leave a message, this is due to the mailbox being full.

“Staff are working hard to attend to the high influx of calls and increased demand for testing. Please be patient and try recalling after 30 minutes.

“If you have an appointment, please do not arrive early and remember to remain in your car until you are requested to come forward for testing.”

Tests can also be conducted at the Cow Bay Primary Health Clinic for residents and visitors of the Daintree coast area only.

Other fever clinics are also set up in Mareeba, Atherton and Cairns. See full list of locations here.

A Queensland Health spokesperson thanked everyone who has turned out across the state to get tested.

“Testing is critically important to protecting the health and safety of all Queenslanders, particularly while there are concerning outbreaks in New South Wales and Victoria.

“We’ve increased capacity and operating hours wherever possible and we’re encouraging people to make use of the wider testing network including private and Commonwealth testing facilities.

“We encourage people to look at all available testing locations and consider attending a different one if they are experiencing delays,” the spokesperson said.

Anyone with any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild, should get tested immediately.

If you have any concerns for your health, phone your GP, phone 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or present to your closest emergency department.



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