COVID-19 Assessment Clinics now open at Wollongong Hospital

16 March 2020
COVID-19 news graphic image

Wollongong Hospital has established the region's first dedicated COVID-19 Assessment Clinic, so those with symptoms may be tested and treated more quickly.

Director of Public Health Curtis Gregory, said the establishment of the clinics will enable many of those who fit the case criteria to be assessed without having to present to an Emergency Department.

"People who have returned from overseas in the last 14 days, and most importantly, showing fever and/or respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath or sore throat are encouraged to attend the clinic. Close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases are also within the criteria for such testing," he said.

People do not need a GP referral to the clinic, but are encouraged to phone ahead for an appointment to minimise wait times. The clinic is located at the back of Lawson House on the Wollongong Hospital campus. Entry to the clinic is via the dedicated parking and drop-off zone off Loftus Street, which is clearly sign posted. The clinics will be staffed by specialist nursing and infection control staff and will operate from 8:30am to 5pm, 7 days a week. To book a time, phone 4222 5078. 

"We also ask that the community remains alert to COVID-19 symptoms and how to protect against infection, and not be alarmed by speculation from non-reliable information sources like social media," said Mr Gregory.

The most up-to-date facts and advice on COVID-19 is available on the NSW Health website.  

Criteria for COVID-19 Testing Clinics

  • Returned from overseas in the last 14 days AND showing acute respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) and/or fever
  • Close contact of a person with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. 

The best way to protect against COVID-19 is the same as any respiratory infection such as the flu:

  • Always practise good hygiene
  • Wash your hands often. Wash for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or a flexed elbow
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Stay home from work or school if you are sick.

The Wollongong COVID-19 Assessment Clinic commenced today, with similar clinics to be established at Shellharbour and Shoalhaven Hospitals as required. Details to follow once confirmed. 

While the clinics are in operation, Wollongong's Heart Health Centre will be temporarily relocated to Level 1 of Lawson House.