There has been some community concern expressed about the COVID-19 testing clinic at Lucas not offering testing for asymptomatic people (those who do not have symptoms of respiratory illness).

To clarify, UFS has been contracted by the Commonwealth Government to operate the clinic at Lucas to test symptomatic patients only, or those who have received official notification from the Department of Health that they are an identified contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case.

Ms Lynne McLennan, Chief Executive Officer of UFS Dispensaries said “It is important that people without symptoms are not being unnecessarily exposed to patients who do have symptoms and are being tested. Testing people without symptoms also increases the wait time for an appointment and pathology turn-around times for people who need testing because they have symptoms. Additionally, testing asymptomatic people is not particularly valuable, as testing is unlikely to identify the virus in those who are not yet showing any symptoms.”

Asymptomatic people do not need to be tested, except for where required for interstate truck drivers or for patients prior to surgery, as instructed by the Victorian Government. For people who have been asked to test for COVID-19 for these reasons, their GP can refer them to a lab for testing. In Ballarat, Australian Clinical Labs at 110 Drummond Street North is offering this service to those with a referral slip from their GP.

Ms McLennan added “Remember that if you are experiencing any respiratory symptoms, it is extremely important that you stay isolated at home until you are tested, then again after testing you must go directly home and stay there until you receive your test results.”

The UFS clinic at Lucas is offering same day or next day appointments for patients with symptoms, with test results coming back within one to three days. To book a test, go to ufs.com.au/test or call 4311 1571.