Broken Hill residents urged to come forward for surveillance testing for COVID
The Far West Local Health District is urging everyone in Broken Hill to come forward for testing whether they have COVID-19 symptoms or not.
To encourage more people to get tested, the Far West LHD is implementing voluntary surveillance testing in Broken Hill as of Thursday, 14 October 2021.
Surveillance testing is the same as normal COVID-19 testing but allows the person to not have to self-isolate while they wait for their test results, provided they have no symptoms and they are not a close or casual contact of a confirmed case and everyone at home is well. Anyone with symptoms must still isolate until they receive a negative result.
Far West LHD's Chief Executive Umit Agis said there is concern COVID-19 is still in the community despite there being no new cases in Broken Hill since 6 October.
'Broken Hill has been fortunate in experiencing a reduction in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the last week, and I would like to congratulate the community for its outstanding vaccination rates (91% first dose and 75% fully vaccinated as of 6 October),' said Mr Agis.
'But low testing numbers are particularly worrying following the lifting of stay-at-home orders on 11 October. Testing is one of our primary weapons in keeping the COVID-19 virus under control.
'We are concerned that people may have the virus who have not been diagnosed. I urge everyone in Broken Hill to get tested, regardless of symptoms.'
There are currently 20 active cases in Broken Hill, who are in isolation with 101 recovered cases since the pandemic began in August.
COVID-19 testing in Broken Hill is available at:
Memorial Oval, 9am to 5pm, seven days a week.
RFDS (BH Airport), 10am to 2.30pm, Monday to Friday.
Note: The pop-up testing clinic at the Alma Oval is now closed until further notice but it will be reopened quickly if demand requires it.
The new surveillance testing measures do not apply to other areas in Far West LHD. Residents in other areas will still need to get tested if they have COVID-19 symptoms and isolate until they receive a negative test result. Symptoms of COVID-19 include cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, sore throat, runny nose, cough or shortness of breath.