COVID-19 testing capacities in the South West will be boosted and wait times reduced by two new drive-through clinics in both of the region’s cities. Bunbury and Busselton now have new clinics, the first dedicated drive-through testing facilities in the South West. The facilities will be open between 8am and 4pm seven days a week in addition to the clinics at the Bunbury Regional Hospital and Busselton Health Campus. Earlier in February, the South Western Times revealed queues at the BRH clinic were so long they crossed in front of the entrance to a cancer-treatment unit. WA Country Health Service principal health officer Helen Van Gessel said the need for testing in the region became more important as caseloads grew. “We’ve seen community transmission in the region so, as well as those who have been to an identified exposure location, it is really important anyone with symptoms gets tested so we can identify and manage any local COVID cases,” she said. While limited capacity for drive-through testing was available at the Bunbury Regional Hospital campus last year, the two new facilities are the first to exclusively test drivers in their vehicle. WACHS regional director South West Kerry Winsor said the partnership with Clinipath Pathology to deliver the clinics would make it easier for people to get tested. “Operating 8am to 4pm daily, the drive-through option reduces wait times at the hospital-based clinics and provides a comfortable alternative to waiting outdoors when you might not be feeling 100 per cent,” she said. “The initial, six-month contract to partner with Clinipath Pathology on operational costs for the drive-through clinics is an example of private and public health service providers collaborating to improve local access to services for the community.” The Bunbury clinic is located in Davenport, at 13 Shanahan Road, while the Busselton clinic is at 31 Fairlawn Road.