Third dedicated COVID testing clinic in regional WA opens in Kununurra

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Jakeb WaddellThe Kimberley Echo
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Health Minister Roger Cook
Camera IconHealth Minister Roger Cook Credit: Nic Ellis/The West Australian, Nic Ellis

The third dedicated COVID clinic in regional WA has opened in Kununurra to boost mandatory testing for essential travellers crossing the Northern Territory border.

It becomes the second for the Kimberley region, after a facility was launched in Broome during the height of the coronavirus pandemic in April.

The new clinic is located at an existing building in Kununurra District Hospital and will target essential workers and exempt personnel entering WA, with asymptomatic testing also available to employees and contractors working at the border.

There are currently just four active cases of COVID-19 across the entire State, all of which are returning travellers currently in quarantine.

Health Minister Roger Cook said although WA had worked hard to suppress the spread of the virus, it was important to continue to take action for the health and safety of communities.

“The State Government continues to implement initiatives to ensure we’re able to curtail any potential outbreak as swiftly as possible,” he said.

“We know testing numbers have gone up in Kununurra because of the nearby State border.

“The new COVID clinic will provide an important pathway for essential workers and other exempt personnel to meet their obligation of mandatory testing.

“Some of our most vulnerable communities are located in the East Kimberley so the imperative is on all of us to continue doing everything within our power to protect them — and other Western Australians — from COVID-19.”

The Kimberley has not recorded a single new case of COVID-19 since April, but remains an area of high concern for the State Government because of its high indigenous population.

A total of 19 people tested positive to the disease in the region earlier this year, including seven health workers, which prompted a swathe of extra clinical staff to be deployed to the North.

Regional clinics are now operating in Kununurra, Broome and Bunbury, as well as seven in the metro area.

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