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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Queensland Pharmacies Will Soon Be Able to Conduct COVID-19 Tests as Part of a New Trial

The State Government is piloting a new program to make testing more accessible.
By Sarah Ward
August 13, 2020
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Queensland Pharmacies Will Soon Be Able to Conduct COVID-19 Tests as Part of a New Trial

The State Government is piloting a new program to make testing more accessible.
By Sarah Ward
August 13, 2020
  shares

Since March this year, Australians have been told to do several things over and over again: social distance, wash our hands and maintain other hygiene measures, stay at home as much as possible, and get tested if we feel the onset of even the mildest COVID-19 symptoms. Accordingly, we've all become well acquainted with Zoom calls, different types of sanitiser and bumping elbows, as well as the sight of our own four walls. And, we've become accustomed to seeking medical advice for the slightest of coughs, fevers, sore or scratchy throats, shortness of breath, and the loss of smell or taste.

Where the latter is concerned, the Queensland Government has announced a new pilot program to make COVID-19 testing easier and more accessible — by allowing pharmacies to conduct the tests. If you lined up at a pop-up clinic last month after the state's most recent community coronavirus cases, or even just drove past one and saw the long queues, you'll know there's clearly a demand for added testing capacity.

COVID-19 TESTS: We will launch a trial of coronavirus testing in community pharmacies.Queensland pharmacists will be...

Posted by Annastacia Palaszczuk MP on Tuesday, 11 August 2020

While the exact stores are yet to be announced, community chemists across the state will be able to take part in the trial over the next few months. Yes, that means that you'll be able to get tested when you're stopping by your local store for other pharmaceutical products. Some chemists already administer flu shots as winter approaches, so conducting COVID-19 tests isn't much of a leap.

As Queensland Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services Steven Miles explained, "each year there are over 458 million patient visits to community pharmacies — approximately 8.8 million per week".

The aim is to make testing as widely available as possible, of course, including in regional and remote pharmacies. When it is up and running — with a specific date yet to be announced — the pilot program will operate alongside Queensland's existing testing centres and fever clinics. And, anyone with possible coronavirus symptoms can still contact their local GP about testing as well.

For more information about Queensland's trial of COVID-19 testing in pharmacies, read the State Government's announcement — we'll update you with more details when they come to hand.

Published on August 13, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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