COVID-19/Flu Assessment Clinics at Sutherland and St George hospitals are experiencing "high demand" for testing

Under pressure: There is high demand for testing at the COVID-19 clinics in St George and Sutherland Shire. Picture: NSW Health
Under pressure: There is high demand for testing at the COVID-19 clinics in St George and Sutherland Shire. Picture: NSW Health

The COVID-19/Flu Assessment Clinics at Sutherland and St George hospitals are experiencing "very high demand", according to a South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) spokeswoman.

While she said they would not be disclosing how many patients were seeking treatment, she could confirm there was very high demand.

"Our clinicians are working hard to meet the testing demands at the COVID-19/Flu Assessment Clinics across the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, including those located at Sutherland and St George hospitals," the spokeswoman said.

"These clinics are for patients who have a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath and either been overseas in the past 14 days or been in close contact [with] a person with COVID-19.

"A referral is not required to present to an emergency department or COVID-19 clinic. However, we encourage the community to be aware of the criteria for COVID-19 testing."

The Sutherland COVID-19/ Flu Assessment Clinics opened on March 16 while the St George clinic opened on March 19.

SESLHD also moved to address "false information regarding COVID-19" last week.

"It is concerning that false information claiming to be connected to St George Hospital is circulating via email and text messages to members of our community about COVID-19 (coronavirus).

"We would like to assure everyone that the hospital did not distribute this information.

"For accurate information and updates on COVID-19 people should go to the NSW Health website."

NSW Health said COVID-19/Flu clinics would be established at all local health districts in NSW to assess and diagnose patients with possible COVID-19 infections and other respiratory illnesses.

The Sutherland clinic is at Sutherland Hospital, Kareena Road Caringbah, and is open seven days, 8am to 8pm.

The St George clinic is at St George Hospital, Gray Street, Kogarah, and is open seven days, 8am to 6pm.

Cases of COVID-19 will be treated locally where possible, with "all hospitals in NSW, including St George and Sutherland hospitals, equipped to handle cases of COVID-19", the spokeswoman said.

"NSW Health is working with health facilities and clinicians to maximise available critical care resources," she said.

"This also includes monitoring intensive care bed availability, staffing and availability of critical infrastructure, such as ventilators."

Currently, only those who meet the following criteria can be tested for COVID-19

  • International travel in the 14 days before the onset of illness

or

  • Close contact in the 14 days before illness onset with a confirmed case of COVID-19

And

  • Fever

or

  • Acute respiratory infection (e.g. shortness of breath, cough or sore throat) with or without fever.

For more information click here.

For more information, phone your GP, or healthdirect on 1800 022 222.