ACT clinic to distribute rapid COVID tests from Kambah drive-through clinic on Friday | The Canberra Times


Rapid antigen tests will be distributed at an ACT COVID-19 testing clinic for the first time on Friday, after 10,000 of the diagnostic kits arrived from the national stockpile. Acting Health Minister Chris Steel said rapid tests would be given out to eligible people at the Kambah testing site. “We’re expecting that people will take away those two tests and administer those themselves at home and report the positive result through the ACT COVID-19 website,” Mr Steel said. “We are expecting tens of thousands of more rapid antigen tests to be delivered over the next week and we’ll have hundreds of thousands more, and over a million, over the coming weeks. “This will give us the supply that we’ll use both for those testing centres and direct delivery in a range of settings.” The current shipment is expected to be completely exhausted on Friday. Testing clinics in the ACT came under significant pressure on Thursday, after contracted sites were forced to close due to a shortage of reagent, a material used to process PCR tests. The Mitchell drive-through and Garran walk-in clinics reached capacity early on Thursday, while the Kambah, Nicholls and Holt clinics were shut due to supply shortages. Mr Steel said Kambah, Nicholls and Holt would be closed until at least Monday for PCR testing, after Capital Pathology secured more reagent and cleared a backlog in its system. “The reagent issue is one that’s been experienced right across the country and it’s a result of supply chain issues. The actual reagent does exist in Australia. It’s just a matter of getting it delivered to their locations,” he said. Almost 65,000 polymerase chain reaction COVID-19 tests have been processed in the ACT since the start of the year. People who are close contacts or have COVID-19 symptoms remain eligible for free testing. MORE COVID-19 NEWS: The ACT has needed significantly more reagent to process COVID-19 tests, because more of the material is required when a greater proportion of samples are positive. Mr Steel said: “We’re experiencing an unprecedented number of cases in the ACT and this has put a strain on our pathology labs and our partners at Capital Pathology, and we’re continuing to work with them to make sure they have all the support that they need.” The ACT reported 1020 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, and there were 24 people in hospital receiving treatment for the disease at 8pm on Wednesday. Three people were in intensive care and two were being ventilated. Our coverage of the health and safety aspects of this outbreak of COVID-19 in the ACT is free for anyone to access. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support. You can also sign up for our newsletters for regular updates. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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