The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) has announced it will be increasing the coroanvirus testing capacity of the Ulladulla Respriatory Clinic in response to increased demand from the Batemans Bay cluster.
The cluster has already touched the Shoalhaven, with at least two Nowra people now self-isolating because they dined at the Soldiers Club in Batemans Bay.
"In response the current demand for testing in the southern Shoalhaven region, ISLHD nursing staff will be working with the Ulladulla Respiratory Clinic to provide additional testing capacity for the local community," ISLHD acting executive director nursing and midwifery Brad Scotcher said.
"The District has prepared plans to accommodate any further demand for testing at other locations in the Shoalhaven and can establish pop-up clinics if required."
The free Ulladulla Respiratory Clinic is open from 8am to 7pm and is located at 114 Princes Highway Ulladulla, in the car park behind Anytime Fitness.
It is not a drive-through clinic and appointments are essential. Appointments can be made via HotDoc Ulladulla Respiratory Clinic or by phoning 4455 5422.
Anyone who attended the Batemans Bay Soldier's Club on July 13, 15, 16 or 17 needs to be immediately tested for COVID-19 and self-isolate for 14 days, even if they receive a negative test.
The health district also said anyone who is feeling unwell, even with the mildest of symptoms such as a runny nose or scratchy throat, seek testing and self-isolate until they get the result.
A full list of testing clinics is available here: https://www.islhd.health.nsw.gov.au/covid-19-assessment-clinics.
On Monday, car parks at Hanging Rock were packed with people waiting in their vehicles to be tested and about 100 people were queuing on the footpath outside Moruya Hospital, not all were standing 1.5 metres apart.
Many of those at Hanging Rock had been waiting several hours and said very little information had been provided. There were reports of people turned away as the clinic reached capacity.
Brad Scotcher said the ISLHD is well prepared for any increase in COVID-19 cases in the region.
"Like all our hospitals and health facilities, Milton Ulladulla Hospital and Shoalhaven Hospital have pandemic response plans in place, and we continue to review these plans to ensure we can respond quickly and effectively," he said.
"We have worked incredibly hard in recent months to prepare our intensive care capacity, our critical care staff and our infrastructure.
"We are now in the strongest position to flex up or down as needed in all key areas and we are ready to respond if needed.
"ISLHD is continually reviewing its plans and policies and will introduce preventative measures as required, for example, last week we implemented tighter restrictions on visiting hospital patients."