Following a review of public demand, four metropolitan PCR testing clinics will be wound down from July 15, 2022 as Western Australia continues its soft landing through the Omicron COVID-19 outbreak.
Public clinics at Fiona Stanley Hospital, Armadale Health Service, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and St John of God Midland Public Hospital will close from July 15, with free PCR testing continuing to be available at other sites across WA, with other local facilities still available at nearby locations.
Testing clinics at Royal Perth Hospital, Joondalup Health Campus, Rockingham Hospital and the PathWest public drive through facility in Murdoch (alongside Fiona Stanley Hospital) will continue to operate between 8am and 8pm on weekdays and from 8am to 4pm on weekends.
Free PCR testing also continues to be available through private pathology clinics. PCR testing arrangements in regional areas remains unchanged.
To find a COVID-19 testing clinic near you visit, healthywa.wa.gov.au
The change will return 121 full-time equivalent staff, more than half of whom are nurses, back to hospitals.
COVID-19 cases continue to decline in WA and Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) are being used more often than PCR tests to identify the virus thanks to the success of the WA Free RAT program.
Between May 1, 2022 and June 22, 2022, 303,249 COVID-19 cases were identified in WA using RATs, compared to 178,617 cased identified via PCR testing.
Since its inception, the WA Free RAT program has distributed more than 12.9 million RATs to people across the State. WA is the only State to provide free RATs to residents.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“With WA’s COVID-19 cases at stable levels and the demand for PCR testing significantly reducing, some staffing resources can be moved from testing clinics back to hospital settings.
“This reasonable and basic adjustment can be made thanks to WA’s successful soft landing and rapid uptake of the WA Free RAT Program.
“These adjustments are modest and as a result will return more health workers back to their primary roles.
“We’ll keep monitoring this and if there are further adjustments that need to be made to benefit Western Australians, keeps them safe, and put patients first, that’s what we’ll do.
“I want to thank our health workers, people front of house or back of house at COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics for their contribution and efforts in keeping WA safe.
“PCR testing will continue to be available across the State for those who want it at both public and private clinics.”
As stated by Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
“This timely change will return 121 FTE staff, including nurses, back to hospitals where we need them the most.
“I’d like to thank all our testing clinic staff who have been, and continue to be, an important part of our COVID-19 frontline since the start of the pandemic.
“The quick establishment of these clinics was unprecedented in the State and an extraordinary effort that has been vital to our management of the virus since the beginning.”