11/05/2020

South Australians are now able to get the result from their COVID-19 test in less than 60 minutes at 17 hospitals across the state.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said SA Pathology has now delivered its rapid testing service which will be crucial in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

“South Australia has done a fantastic job so far in flattening the curve of the virus and we know SA Pathology’s world class testing regime has been instrumental to that effort,” Minister Wade said.

“Despite very few active cases today, there will be more cases in South Australia. The government is continuing to prepare and plan for a return of cases in South Australia. While travel into the state has been dramatically slowed, there are still essential travellers and the risk of more local infections. We know that as long as there is no vaccine for COVID-19, our best defence is to test, trace and rapid response.

“The ability to almost immediately diagnose and therefore isolate and treat COVID-19 patients is a key tool in containing any further spread of this nasty disease.”

“The addition of rapid testing services will allow us to provide results in less than 60 minutes for patients deemed clinically urgent, taking us one step further in continuing the fight against the virus.

“We know that every minute counts for patients deemed clinically urgent, which is why this tool will be potentially lifesaving for South Australians.

SA Pathology’s Director of Clinical Services, Dr Tom Dodd, said rapid testing has been effective for diagnosing other viruses such as influenza and could now help save lives of those in the community who are more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19.

“Rapid testing will allow clinicians to make early and well informed decisions about the treatment requirements of COVID-19 patients, which can be particularly important for patients showing symptoms of the virus,” Dr Dodd said.

“Currently testing results for COVID-19 take about 24 hours to return, so for those urgent cases, rapid testing will be extremely beneficial to ensure they can receive the most appropriate care as soon as possible.

“We have now installed rapid testing instruments throughout the state laboratory network and received our first shipment of 400 cartridges required to commence the testing.

“We are working extremely hard to ensure all South Australians can continue to access timely testing for COVID-19, with the rapid testing service another innovative way for us to increase our testing capabilities.”

Rapid testing services are now available at all metropolitan hospitals and 10 regional sites around the state.

The regional hospitals include:
* Southern Fleurieu (Victor Harbor)
* Gawler
* Port Augusta
* Whyalla
* Port Lincoln
* Murray Bridge
* Berri (Riverland general hospital)
* Mt Gambier
* Port Pirie
* Wallaroo

SA Pathology has also established an online appointment booking tool for Hampstead and Repat drive through clinics, as part of the Digital Health Service that provides text message negative test results.

Once registered, patients can upload an image or photo of their COVID-19 pathology request form and will be allocated the next available appointment time.

To register visit https://sa.personifycare.com/register/sa