Easier access for Rapid Antigen Tests for groups in Coffs Harbour

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Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 29/05/2022 - 6:12am

Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre volunteer Michael with RATS for those who qualify for free tests

THE Neighbourhood Centre in Coffs Harbour has partnered with the NSW Government to provide hundreds of free Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) to people who may struggle to have access.

They have commenced distribution to people who identify the need; including people with disability, vulnerable multicultural communities and Aboriginal communities.

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“Removing barriers to access of tests helps to facilitate early identification and treatment for COVID-19,” Di Woods, Manager at Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre, told News Of The Area.

Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones said, “We want to ensure that rapid antigen tests are easily accessible to those who need it most, to keep them safe against COVID-19 through the coming winter period.”

The Government message says that as weather cools, COVID droplets can remain longer on surfaces.

Some COVID symptoms can be mistaken as signs of cold or flu.

People who do not necessarily have easy access to RATs are more likely to delay symptoms to see if they just subside, but anything that delays testing early puts others around us at increased risk.

“By removing costs and providing them at the same time people are coming in and collecting their food support from the Neighbourhood Centre we can support both the health and wellbeing of our community,” added Di.

If you have a disability, are a carer or if you struggle to access a RAT test at home should you need to test, tests are available 10:30-11:30 Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre.

Collection will require registration of details, which are kept confidential.

The program will initially run for four months, based on supply of stock.

A Government review will determine whether it should be extended towards the end of winter.

People are reminded that if they test positive on a RAT this result should be registered with Service NSW.

By Andrea FERRARI