Labor calls for 'no COVID-19 test, no entry' at border checkpoints

More COVID-19 testing resources deployed to regional SA

Coronavirus
COVID-19 testing has stepped up in both in metropolitan and regional areas of the state as authorities seek to find active cases quickly. Photo: Shutterstock

COVID-19 testing has stepped up in both in metropolitan and regional areas of the state as authorities seek to find active cases quickly. Photo: Shutterstock

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SA Health has ramped up COVID-19 testing across regional SA but there are calls for more testing points at SA-Vic border checkpoints, especially with those living in cross border communities now requiring a test every seven days.

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SA Health has ramped up COVID-19 testing capabilities across the state, including in cross-border areas where community members must now have a test at least every seven days to keep crossing the SA-Vic border.

In the past 30 days to Tuesday, nearly 240,000 tests have been processed, including more than 4000 tests each day for much of the past week.

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In regional SA, there are seven regional respiratory clinics, 33 regional clinics and 17 drive-through sites, as well as several heavy vehicle testing sites at Port Augusta, Tailem Bend and Yamba.

Further resources are expected to be deployed by SA Pathology, which says it is continually reviewing and adapting its COVID-19 testing services to respond and manage demand.

But the opposition wants a tough 'no test, no entry' stance at all checkpoints.

We need these stronger restrictions to ensure the safety of South Australians - Nick McBride, Member for Mackillop

Member for MacKillop Nick McBride understands the latest round of restrictions have caused some people further stress and confusion - especially the new testing requirement for cross-border community members - but he says it is necessary with the "worsening situation in Vic".

"We need these stronger restrictions to ensure the safety of South Australians," he said.

Mr McBride is advocating for more mobile testing sites in his electorate, which he says would make it easier for cross-border members to comply with testing every seven days, as well as reduce pressure on local health services.

"Currently this testing is offered at Bordertown and near Mount Gambier," he said. "I am hopeful this testing could be considered at Hynam and other checkpoints."

Labor spokesperson for Health and Wellbeing Chris Picton says mandatory testing is needed, after one of the state's active cases failed to get tested for five days after entering SA.

"While I'm sure the vast majority of these thousands of people from Vic are doing the right thing, it is terrifying to think what would happen if someone did the wrong thing and put our state at risk," he said.

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