Mildura health care workers throw support behind COVID-19 blitz

HUNDREDS of local health care and emergency workers have thrown their support behind Victoria's COVID-19 testing blitz by being swabbed for the virus at a pop-up clinic at Mildura Base Hospital.

The testing clinic operated for three days from Wednesday to Friday, testing more than 350 people who work in the health care and emergency services sectors.

COVID-19 testing has also been made available to the wider community in recent days as part of the Victorian Government's push to test 200,000 people, with the results to help inform the future coronavirus response.

"A lot of people in health care and emergency services are working really hard at the moment, so we wanted to give them the option to be tested at a site that is close and convenient," MBH's Infection Prevention and Control Coordinator Fleur Manno said.

"We're overwhelmed with the response from healthcare workers. Our staff members, as well as those from the Mildura Private Hospital, GP clinics and emergency services have been really positive about taking part and helping to contributed to the collective knowledge about the virus."

The test involves taking a swab of the throat and nasal area, with all swabs collected daily and either flown or driven to testing laboratories in Sydney or Melbourne. Results are available within 24-48 hours, with most people receiving a text message confirming a negative result. Should any positive results be found, the person would be contacted via telephone and appropriate response measures put in place.

"A lot of people I talk to feel very proud to be taking action to reduce the spread of COVID-19 – they've downloaded the COVID-Safe app, been tested, and had their flu vaccination," Ms Manno said.

"If you can do these three things, that is a great step forward in protecting yourself and our community."

While some people have admitted to being slightly nervous prior to being tested, Ms Manno said people had shown a lot of commitment to the testing.

"We've had people coming in to be tested on their day off, or on shift breaks, and we've been saying thank you by giving everyone tested a free coffee," she said.