COVID-19 clinics to ‘pop up’ across rural Australia, but risk still low in regions

Rural Doctors Association of Australia president Dr John Hall has welcomed the federal government’s decision to establish up to 100 ‘pop-up’ clinics as part of its $2.4 billion COVID-19 response initiative.

“Our understanding is that these fever clinics will be used to boost capacity for consultation and care when the local workforce is overwhelmed by the demand,” Dr Hall told New South Wales’ Central Western Daily.

Hall notes that for “most rural Australians’… risk of exposure at this stage of the outbreak is very low”, but says that if local outbreaks happen, regional centres such as Orange, Dubbo and Bathurst would make suitable locations for temporary COVID-19 clinics, as they have existing networks of GPs and close access to hospital care.

In the meantime, Dr Hall reinforced the usual infection-prevention measures: maintaining good hygiene (such as frequent, proper handwashing), isolating yourself if symptomatic, and minimising unnecessary contact with the most vulnerable members of the community– elderly people and those with underlying health conditions.

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Source: Coronavirus, COVID-19: Risk to rural Australians and warnings not to bulk buy I Central Western Daily