Coronavirus testing update

06 Oct 2022

Dale Webster, Deputy Secretary

As Tasmania transitions to living with COVID-19, the Department of Health’s PCR testing clinic and rapid antigen test (RAT) collection site in Burnie will stand down after its final day of operations on Sunday 9 October 2022.

I would like to say a huge thank you to the team who have provided dedicated service at the Burnie Testing Clinic over the last two and a half years.

The team has worked 365 days per year to help Tasmania keep on top of COVID-19 before the state’s borders reopened on 15 December last year, and to help minimise community transmission on the North West Coast since then.

During its operation, the team at the Burnie Testing Clinic has collected 33,417 specimens for PCR testing and distributed 29,527 RATs up to 29 September 2022.

The change reflects the current level of demand for testing services on the North West Coast, where at present the site collects an average of 18 PCR swabs and distributes an average of 18 RAT kits per day.

The Department will maintain capacity to deploy mobile testing units to targeted areas across Tasmania if needed in the future.

Tasmanians should continue to get tested using a RAT when they have symptoms. People can also get a PCR test if they can’t access a RAT or they are at higher risk of severe disease and eligible for antiviral treatments.

From 10 October, people on the North West Coast will continue to have access to RAT and PCR testing at a number of locations in the region.

The state-run Devonport Testing Clinic at the East Devonport Recreation Centre will continue to provide PCR testing and RAT collection seven days a week, 8.30am – 3.30pm.

RATs continue to be available for free at Service Tasmania centres for concession card holders, as well as from local pharmacies and supermarkets.

PCR testing is available for people with COVID-19 symptoms through North West Pathology 52-56 Bass Highway, Cooee with a referral from a doctor or healthcare professional. The facility is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 2pm and bookings are required.

PCR testing is also available for people without COVID-19 symptoms through North West Pathology at the Medical Centre, 21 Brickport Road, Burnie from Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 2pm. Patients who need a PCR test prior to hospital admission can get a referral from their doctor.

I urge everyone in Tasmania to continue to follow COVID-safe behaviours. This includes maintaining good hand hygiene, following social distancing and wearing a mask when you can’t, getting tested when you have symptoms, and staying home if you are unwell.

Finally, the most important thing that people can do to protect themselves, their family and the community is to stay up to date with their vaccinations by visiting a GP or pharmacy.