COVID-19 cases turn corner

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times

The two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Augusta-Margaret River shire have recovered and no new cases have emerged in the past week.

The Health Department yesterday confirmed all nine cases in the South West had also recovered, adding to the prospect for tough regional controls to ease.

The WA and Federal governments will expand testing to track any community transmission of the disease, with patients now able to seek a test via a GP referral.

Bunbury’s COVID-19 clinic has undertaken 696 screenings since March 21.

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Total tests for the South West were 1037 as of yesterday.

That included 323 tests at Augusta, Margaret River and Busselton hospitals.

While the disease appears under control in the South West, Nationals MLC Colin Holt has called for a COVID-19 clinic for Busselton, while Vasse MLA Libby Mettam yesterday wrote to Health Minister Roger Cook asking for expanded testing via private pathology clinics in the region.

“It is quite clear that community testing has a key role to play in managing the spread of a pandemic in a region which relies on a more vulnerable health service,” Ms Mettam said.

“The expansion of testing through the private sector has the potential to create increased convenience for local residents, with the provision of home collection services at no additional cost to the patient or the State.”

“It is my understanding that there is great enthusiasm for such a service to be provided to assist in expanding the scope of community testing.”

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