COVID-19 testing at GV Health only for symptomatic cases

By Tara Whitsed

GV Health has urged those with symptoms of COVID-19 to be tested but said the process was not necessary for those without symptoms.

GV Health's Medical Services executive director and chief medical officer John Elcock said after the recent outbreaks in Melbourne, people had presented to GV Health’s screening station in Graham St to be tested simply because they had travelled there.

“There is some concern at the moment about the outbreaks of COVID-19 in certain Melbourne suburbs,” Dr Elcock said.

“There is currently no reason to test anyone without symptoms in the Goulburn Valley and there is no need to test people just because they have been to Melbourne or because someone else in the family is awaiting a test result.”

GV Health is continuing to conduct testing in accordance with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) guidelines for regions outside current COVID-19 hot-spots.

“This means that anyone who has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 can be tested at GV Health or at the Princess Park GP-run testing facility,” Dr Elcock said.

“There are also a number of other health services in the region who will be starting community testing or have already started testing at Cobram, Numurkah, Nathalia and Yarrawonga.”

Dr Elcock said it was important to avoid travel to the hot-spot suburbs in Melbourne that were now in lock-down.

He also said GV Health had recently received some public interest in the less-invasive saliva test for COVID-19.

“This test is not recommended for testing outside of COVID hotspots and will only be used on direction from the DHHS in managing a significant outbreak,” Dr Elcock said.

“Although it is easier to perform than the throat and nose swab test, the saliva test is not as accurate in detecting COVID infection as the throat and nose swab.

“It is important to use the most accurate test possible to ensure we pick up any cases early.

“Our key message, however, remains the same. Please observe social distancing, practise good hand hygiene and sneeze and cough etiquette, and if you do have symptoms, get tested and wait at home for the results.”