To ease continuing extensive pressure on the ACT’s public PCR testing system, ACT Health will begin using Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) at Kambah tomorrow.
ACT Health has secured an initial supply of 10,000 tests that will be available from 10am tomorrow from the Kambah COVID-19 Testing Clinic only.
These tests are only available for people who have COVID-19 symptoms, are household contacts of a confirmed case, are at high or moderate risk of contracting COVID-19 (see ACT COVID-19 website for details) or who have been instructed by ACT Health to get a test.
Kambah will not conduct PCR tests tomorrow and the clinics at Nicholls and Holt will be closed until at least Monday 16 January.
The use of RATs at Kambah is only scheduled for tomorrow at this stage while ACT Health awaits further supply of test kits. ACT Health will communicate on its website and social media channels if there are any plans to continue this on future days.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said ACT Health was working swiftly with its partners to try and ease the significant pressures and challenges currently being faced in the testing system.
“We are working to support our community as best we can and adapt our response to the challenges that come with COVID-19,” said the Chief Minister.
Acting Minister for Health Chris Steel said longer term planning for how we will use RATs as part of our COVID-19 response is well under way.
“This is the first time we have used RATs at our testing sites and it will help to ease the pressure on PCR testing with the high demand we are experiencing.”
“These are self-administered RAT tests which means they can be used at home. Those who have a positive result should report it as soon as possible to ACT Health using the form on the COVID-19 ACT website.
“Only those with COVID-19 symptoms, are household contacts of a confirmed case, or are at high or moderate risk of contracting COVID-19 will be tested at all of our sites. Please don’t come for testing unless you meet the criteria or are directed to get a test by ACT Health.”
ACT Health anticipates its initial stock of RATs is likely to be fully used supporting testing tomorrow, however there is more on the way. Once more stock is available, further use of RATs will be considered.
People presenting to Kambah to collect RATs tomorrow will be required to complete a declaration upon arrival that they meet the criteria to be tested.
They will be given a pack that includes two RAT kits and instructions on when the second test will need to be undertaken, in line with their individual circumstances.
People who return a positive RAT will be required to isolate immediately, register their result on the ACT COVID-19 website and follow all further instructions on the website.
The opening hours for all testing sites, including Kambah can be found on the COVID-19 website. Waiting times for these locations are also on the website and are regularly updated.