COVID-19 testing criteria expanded again

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The criteria for COVID-19 testing has been expanded to help track individual cases and community transmission. File picture  

FROM Thursday, April 9 the testing criteria for those who can be tested for COVID-19 will be expanded but it is important to note metropolitan clinics will not be open as long over Easter.

Eleven new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed overnight.

Out of a total of 481 cases the Department of Health said WA had 12 cases where the source of infection was unknown.

The latest heat map shows the local government areas of Wanneroo, Joondalup and Stirling all have between 21 to 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19 each.

The Shire of Gingin, which is part of the Wheatbelt, has between 1 to 5 cases – the number of cases in the Wheatbelt has stayed at eight in the past few days so the shire probably still has the one confirmed case but the department has changed how the statistics are depicted from exact numbers to a range from 1-5, 6-10 etc.

Health Minister Roger Cook said the testing criteria for COVID-19 will be amended to include anyone:

  • presenting with a fever (of 38°C or greater)
  • a history of a fever in the past few days OR
  • with an acute respiratory infection e.g. shortness of breath, cough or sore throat.

People in regional areas can also get tested at a public hospital, health service or remote health clinic.

Mr Cook said by expanding the testing regime they would be able to find new cases, protect the most vulnerable people and ensure they were tracking the movement of the virus in the community.

“Test, trace and isolate – we know this is vital to stay on top of this deadly and insidious virus,’’ he said.

During the four-day Easter long weekend, all metropolitan COVID clinics will adjust their hours and open from 10am to 4pm.

To date 19,615 people in Western Australia have tested negative for COVID-19.

Members of the public can phone the COVID-19 Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 or the 13COVID (132 68 43) number for advice and find more information by visiting http://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au

The Joondalup COVID Clinic is at car park 4, Regents Park Rd, Joondalup and the Midland COVID Clinic is at St John of God Midland Hospital, Yelverton Dr, Midland.

Visit https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/

  • People are only included in the department’s heat map if they are Western Australian residents.