Council and medical professionals encourage COVID-19 testing

Published on 08 May 2020

RIPERN nurse Jason Phieler

Medical professionals from across the Surf Coast Shire region are encouraging residents to be tested for COVID-19 in an attempt to get townships moving again, while aiding protection of the community from transmission.

Mayor Rose Hodge fully supports this initiative and encourages people, where possible, to please consider having the test, just as 5,000 people in the region have done over the last week.

Sandy Chamberlin, CEO of Great Ocean Road Health, said they ramped up testing this week, including at the Lorne Community Hospital (LCH) campus.

“We’re testing both symptomatic (people with symptoms) and some asymptomatic (no symptoms) groups at LCH,” said Ms Chamberlin. “We are focusing on our staff and residents at present, but construction, supermarket, healthcare, police, corrections and emergency services workers, people with a chronic illness who may be at risk of more severe coronavirus (COVID-19) disease and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are also priorities.

To book a test, call ahead to the Lorne Community Hospital on 03 5289 4300 and visit for more information.

Advice from the Western Victoria Primary Health Network is to call your GP in the first instance for advice about where to be tested. However, currently-funded options close by include:

  • Carpark testing at Barwon Health Community Centres (in Belmont) and Barwon Health North (in Norlane) – telephone 03 4215 4445 for an appointment

  • Epic Health in Ocean Grove (03 9044 0200)

Barwon Health has also established a screening service for people concerned they may have COVID-19. The first step in accessing this service is to complete the online screening tool here or, if you don’t have access to the internet, by phoning (03) 4215 4445. People may also call the Department of Health and Human Services hotline, available 24/7 on 1800 675 398.

State government is encouraging anyone with symptoms associated with coronavirus to get a test, no matter how mild. Symptoms include fever, breathing difficulties, breathlessness, cough and sore throat. A self-assessment tool and more information about the testing procedure is available at:

Testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) test is free when you get tested at a public health facility, mobile testing centre or GP offering bulk billing.

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