Do I Need To Get Tested?
I’ve Got COVID / Coronavirus
Self Isolating & Quarantine
Who Needs to Self Isolate?
All overseas travellers
Close Contact of a confirmed infection
Means staying at home or in your hotel room for 14 days. This is to prevent the possible spread of the virus to other people.
This means you:
● do not leave your home/hotel unless it is an emergency
● do not go to public places such as work or shopping centres
● do not let visitors in – only people who usually live with you should be in your home.
If you are well, there is no need to wear surgical masks inside.
If you are isolating at home, ask others who are not in isolation to get food and necessities for you. For support contact the Neighbourhood Care Network or your state or territory health agency.
For practical purposes, going into Quarantine means self-isolating
Separate yourself from the other people in your home
If you are sharing your home with others you should, as much as possible:
- remain separated from others
- wear a surgical mask when you are in the same room as another person
- use a separate bathroom, if available
- avoid shared or communal areas and wear a surgical mask when moving through these areas
- not share a room with people who are at risk of severe disease, such as elderly people and those who have heart, lung or kidney conditions, and diabetes.
Wear a surgical mask
You should wear a surgical mask when you are in the same room with other people (even if they are also in isolation) and when you visit a healthcare provider.
Make sure your surgical mask covers your nose and mouth at all times, and avoid touching your mask unnecessarily.
Cover coughs and sneezes
You should cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough or sneeze into your sleeve/elbow. Used tissues should be placed in a bin, and hands immediately washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Wash your hands
You should wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if your hands are not visibly dirty.
Ensure you wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser:
- before entering an area where there are other people
- before touching things used by other people
- after using the bathroom
- after coughing or sneezing
- before putting on, and after removing, gloves and masks.
Avoid sharing household items
You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with other people in your home.
After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water or use a dishwasher/washing machine.
- Fever over 38°C
- A history of fever, eg rigors
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Loss of sense of smell
- Change in sense of taste
- Significantly faster or more difficulty breathing
- Pain on breathing
- Skin feels unusually cold and sweaty, patchy colouring or excessively pale
- Persistent shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Suddenly feeling cold with shivering and fever (rigors)
- Persistent sweating
- Persistent fever not getting better after treatment
- Persistent muscle pain
Bellingen Shire Covid-19 Testing Clinic is open
The COVID Clinic has been established by local doctors and nurses to provide a single point for the assessment and testing of anyone in Bellingen Shire (including Dorrigo, Thora, Urunga, Kalang, Raleigh etc) who thinks they may have a Coronavirus (COVID) infection.
No other medical problems will be dealt with at the COVID Clinic – you should see your usual GP for those.
15-23 Watson St, Bellingen (the old Watson Street Hostel).
The Clinic is open 5 days a week (Mon-Fri) from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. No appointments are necessary. There is no direct phone line – please call 6655 1121 for any enquiries.
Who Can Attend The Clinic?
Any Bellingen Shire resident or visitor.
You will be tested for Coronavirus if:
– you have symptoms of a cold (cough, sore throat, congestion), unexplained aches and pains in muscles or joints, fevers, chills, loss of sense of smell; or
– you have been referred for testing by your GP or by the local Public Health Unit.
Testing is especially important for health care and aged care workers, school teachers, emergency services, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island people, and returned overseas travelers.
If you do not have symptoms, you don’t require testing.
Your visit to the Clinic is bulk-billed to Medicare. There are no out of pocket expenses, as long as you have a Medicare card.
What Will Happen At The Clinic?
You should drive to the Clinic and enter the driveway as signposted.
Please stay in your car (including children). Keep the air conditioner running if the weather is warm.
You will be met by a staff member who will record your details (please have your Medicare card with you).
You will then proceed along the driveway to be seen by a nurse and doctor.
Testing involves taking a swab from the back of your throat, and from the back of your nose. Some people may find this uncomfortable.
If you are tested, it is important that you then remain in home isolation until the result is back.
The results of your swab will be sent to your usual GP. Please phone your GP in three days for the results. Some results have taken up to 6 days to return.
Your visit will take about 10 minutes, longer if there are a lot of attendees.
If You Don’t Have a Car
You should still enter via the driveway on foot or bike. You will be shown to a separate seating area.
Brought to you by the Clinical Action Group
The Clinical Action Group consists of representatives from the medical and health profession within the Shire – primary objectives are the operation of the Bellingen COVID-19 Clinic.
A collaborative effort by the private medical and health practitioners across the Bellingen Shire has resulted in the establishment of a dedicated COVID-19 testing clinic, despite no surety of funding for this clinic from the State Department of Health.