UFS Dispensaries has welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement today that regional testing capacity will be increased across Ballarat, Geelong and Bendigo.

Ms Lynne McLennan, Chief Executive Officer of UFS Dispensaries said “I’d like to thank the State Government for their willingness to invest further resources into testing in our region. The real issue however in Ballarat is not a lack of access to testing, but that a small but dangerous number of people are not taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously and continue to mix in the community when they should be self-isolating.

“As of this afternoon there are appointments available at the testing clinic at Lucas for this evening and tomorrow morning and appointments available at the testing clinic in Little Bridge Street for same day testing if booked in the morning. There is no excuse for anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms in Ballarat not getting tested.

“We have received credible feedback from the community that in some local businesses, managers are discouraging staff from getting tested, with reports of staff with respiratory symptoms continuing to present to work. This is not the time to “soldier on” and is certainly not an environment in which “presenteeism” should be encouraged or rewarded by businesses in any way.

“We are also aware of people who have ignored the direction to self-isolate whilst waiting for test results, and have chosen to continue to mix in the community. One individual chose to socialise with friends after being tested (and subsequently returned a positive result), exposing friends and family to the virus.

The overwhelming majority of Ballarat people are doing the right thing and keeping themselves and those around them safe from this virus. There is an option to anonymously report someone you know who is not doing the right thing and breaching isolation  – the phone number is 1800 675 398 (option 4) and reports will be followed up by police. This is the official coronavirus hotline number – we’re calling it the Dob in a Dim-Wit line.”

The UFS testing clinic at Lucas and the Ballarat Community Health Services testing clinic in Little Bridge Street are testing patients with symptoms, with test results coming back within one to three days. To book a test at the Lucas clinic, go to ufs.com.au/test or call 4311 1571.