Hundreds of residents tested by health professionals

THE respiratory clinic in Ballina has tested hundreds of Northern Rivers residents for Covid-19 and influenza with no positive cases of the novel coronavirus infection to date.

Dr Tonya Coren, principal GP of Cape Byron Medical Centre, confirmed the initial results.

"The Ballina Respiratory Clinic has so far (up to Tuesday, May 26) seen approximately 600 people and around 95 per cent of them have been tested for Covid 19, with no positive test results," she said.

On average, test results are received within 24 hours.

The new health service is located at the Cherry Street Sports Club, and it started operating on May 4.

According to Dr Coren, the clinic operates on a rotating roster of seven GPs and six registered nurses.

The fee-free, GP-led respiratory clinic is part of the Australian Government's $2.4 billion health package in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The clinic assesses people with respiratory symptoms and, where appropriate, undertake testing to diagnose respiratory cases, including COVID-19, influenza and pneumonia.

Results will be available within one day.

The Ballina Respiratory Clinic will be open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Residents should visit or to use the online booking system to make an appointment, or call 6685 6326.

The North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN)'s CEO, Julie Sturgess, said the clinic was a great example of local collaboration to support the community's wellbeing.

"The clinic provides the opportunity for people to undergo assessment and testing in a safe environment," Ms Sturgess said.

"I encourage anyone in our community experiencing these symptoms to book an appointment."

The clinic has private access through a purpose-built section off the back deck of the Cherry Street Sports Club.

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