Virus testing made easier in new South Australia partnership
SOUTH Australian Road Transport Association has brokered a deal for free no-hassle COVID-19 testing for heavy vehicle drivers.
After two weeks of discussions and planning between SARTA, the Department of Health and SA Pathology, truckies can now be screened for the virus without any need for prior appointments, or doctor referrals.
In a memo released on its Facebook page, SARTA reveals details on the testing available at Bordertown Truck Stop, with more sites to come online shortly, including Tailem Bend.
South Australia has some of the toughest testing protocols in place, and is particularly vigilant with interstate truckies.
“SA Pathology recommends testing for interstate truck drivers, particularly those involved in livestock transport to abattoirs,” said clinical service director Dr Tom Dodd in an associated memo, which lists testing locations.
“This is being instituted as a proactive health promotion strategy to enable broader community testing for Covid-19 and support early detection before it spreads in the community.
“Any driver should consider having a voluntary swab even if asymptomatic, but particularly if experiencing any of the following symptoms at any time in the last four weeks:
- Acute respiratory infection eg cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose or fever
- Acute unexplained loss of smell or altered sense of taste
- Or, new onset of headache, myalgia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea AND who are close contacts of a confirmed case of Covid-19
“The collection, which consists of a nasal and throat swab, takes just a few minutes. ‘Interstate truck driver’ should be clearly marked on the collection form.”
Premier Steven Marshall said boosting SA’s testing regime was the next step in the government’s plan to keep the state “safe and strong”.
“The expansion of testing is the next step in our strong plan to protect South Australians from the health and economic impacts of this nasty virus,” he said.
“Extensive testing for COVID-19 has been a hallmark of South Australia’s strong, decisive response to the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“To safely ease restrictions as soon as possible we must have the confidence we can identify cases and quickly isolate the virus.”