Big demand for new drive-through COVID testing clinic at Sutherland

A queue of cars snakes out of the Sutherland Basketball Stadium car park and along Rawson Street at Sutherland.

It is only 10am but there are already about 100 cars in the queue.

A sign erected near the PCYC building warns there is a four-hour wait for a COVID test but still cars continue to line up.

A little further back another sign states that the drive-through testing clinic is "at capacity".

"Please come back later", the signs says, or visit an alternate site such as Sutherland Hospital.

This was the scene at the Sutherland Drive-Through Testing Clinic on Tuesday, just three days after it moved from its former site, Sutherland Multi-Purpose Centre.

It was thought the new location with its large car park would help manage traffic flow but within days it was overwhelmed.

The South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) in announcing the move on Sunday said the drive-through clinic would take up about "two-thirds of the Basketball Stadium car park during operating hours".

"We have consulted with [Sutherland Shire] Council on the traffic management plan and stadium management and believe there will be minimum impact," it said in a Facebook post.

When asked about the long queue for testing at the facility, a SESLHD spokeswoman said "there are a range of different options to access COVID-19 testing, via a GP as well as COVID-19 clinics in the area".

"As well as the Sutherland COVID-19 Drive-Through Testing Centre, other clinics available in the Sutherland Shire include Sutherland Hospital [and] Caringbah COVID Testing Centre," she said.

"To help balance demand across testing clinics, residents in the northern part of the Sutherland Shire are encouraged to seek testing at ... St George Hospital [and] Hurstville Community Health Centre."

The spokeswoman said people were reminded that the Caringbah clinic which opened July 9 could be accessed seven days a week.

The following clinics are run by NSW Health. No referral is necessary and testing is free.

  • Sutherland Hospital, ground floor, Kareena Road, Caringbah, 8am-8pm daily. No age restrictions for children, however, if the child is too unwell, they will be referred to Sutherland Hospital emergency department.
  • Caringbah COVID Testing Centre 348R Kingsway, Caringbah (located next to the pedestrian access way linking Kingsway and council car park). 9am-4pm Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm Saturday-Sunday. Closed public holidays. School-age children and older.
  • Sutherland Drive-Through Testing Centre, Waratah Park, off old Princes Highway, Sutherland (access from Rawson Street). 9am-5pm Monday-Friday, 9am- 2.30pm Sunday. Closed public holidays. School-age children who can tolerate swabbing.
  • St George Hospital clinical services building (access via gate 3), Kensington Street, Kogarah. 8am-6pm daily. Children five years and older. Younger children to be tested at St George Hospital emergency department.
  • Hurstville Community Health Centre, 34 Woniora Road, Hurstville, 9am-4pm Monday-Friday, 9am-2pm weekends. Children five years and older.

Details: For a full list of SESLHD testing clinics click here.