• Tony Bosworth

MP Templeman requests extended hours for Hawkesbury COVID testing facilities as demand soars

People are turning up for COVID tests in their droves across the Hawkesbury but with the Clarendon site no longer open – it closed just before the Hawkesbury Show and hasn’t reopened – MP Susan Templeman is calling this evening for extended hours at the other local test centres.

“People are telling me that the sharp increase in the number of local COVID contacts is stretching the testing services,” Ms Templeman told the Post.

“Late this afternoon, people waiting in long queues in Windsor were told that the facility was going to close at 4.30pm whether people were still waiting or not.

“Really, when people are being urged to be tested as soon as possible, and then isolate, it’s the responsibility of government to make sure that testing is accessible. I sincerely hope that no one was turned away from testing at 4.30.

“So today my office contacted the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District and requested an extension of hours and expansion of services to meet the need. A drive through service at Clarendon [at Hawkesbury Showground] would have been very useful to have over the last day or so.

“This is a time to be encouraging people to do the right thing – to stay at home, to get tested if necessary.

“I also know people are also booking in or trying to book in for COVID vaccinations, but facing long delays for the Pfizer vaccine. I know the small number of local GPs are doing their best with the supply they have, and the larger centres also only have limited doses, so the long waits are a direct consequence of insufficient quantity being ordered by the Morrison Government last year, and people are sadly, stuck waiting.”

On social media this afternoon locals were complaining about the wait for testing. On the Post’s page, resident Cathy Tindale said, “Judging by the queues today, I think they need to reopen the showground hub again. My understanding was it closed when the Hawkesbury Show was on and didn't reopen.The Laverty pathology drive through testing site [in Richmond at 86 Lennox St] was inundated this morning as was the hospital carpark [testing site],” she said.

And reader Jenny Butler made a very good point on the Post's Facebook page.

"They definitely need more capacity for surge demand and also the flexibility to adjust their opening hours. It would be dreadful if a positive case got turned away today."

Here are the Hawkesbury testing sites:

Richmond- Laverty Drive thru - Lennox St

Windsor - Hawkesbury District Health - at the hospital

Vineyard - Vineyard Church car park.

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