Just one hour after opening on Wednesday morning, 46 of Melbourne’s testing locations were reporting over capacity queues and asking residents to look elsewhere. Just 10 drive-through testing sites remain open on Wednesday, in Parkville, Williams Landing, Deer Park, Heidelberg, Epping, Craigieburn, Doncaster, Brighton, Dandenong and Pakenham, however no information is available for wait times. One testing site in Melbourne’s west was reportedly turning away patrons by 7 am — one hour before they were set to open — saying the line had already exceeded the number of people they could est that day.“I drove in to the Wyndham Vale site around 7.30am hoping to get near the front of the queue,” local resident Michael Butler said. “The crowd controllers said I’d have better luck trying somewhere else. But I really don’t know if that’s true. I need to get a test for work.”Some people have reported waits of up to four days to receive the results, but, this week, Early Childhood Minister Ingrid Stitt said most results were being received within two days. “The latest advice that I have about results is that they are overwhelmingly still coming through within 24 to 48 hours,” she said. In a move that could ease wait times, one of the state’s largest operates, 4 Cyte Pathology, has reopened 44 clinics on Tuesday which were closed over the Christmas period. Confusion over when Victorian’s should get a PCR or rapid antigen test, has led health authorities to firm up guidelines for symptomatic people. Crowd-sourcing information a site has also been developed, ‘Find a RAT’, to allow people to access data on which chemists and supermarkets have stock available. But across Victoria’s more than 200 testing locations, there are sites where you won‘t get stuck waiting. Central MelbourneBourke Street Melbourne walk in — Over capacity, avoidMelbourne Town Hall — Opens at 10amMCEC Carpark Southbank — Over capacity, avoidThe Alfred Hospital —Over capacity, avoidAlbert Park — Over capacity, avoidThe Royal Children’s Hospital — OpenMelbourne University Testing Clinic — Over capacity, avoidSt Vincent’s Hospital — Over capacity, avoidCohealth Collingwood — Over capacity, avoidMelbourne NorthMoonee Valley Racecourse — Over capacity, avoidDarebin Arts Centre — Over capacity, avoidHeidelberg Repatriation Hospital — Open4 Cyte Doncaster — OpenHume City Council — Over capacity, avoidCoolaroo Testing Hub — Over capacity, avoidMickleham Road Tullamarine — Over capacity, avoidKeilor Basketball Netball Stadium — Over capacity, avoidLatrobe University Bundoora Campus — Over capacity, avoidRMIT Bundoora East — Over capacity, avoidNorthern Hospital Epping — OpenNorthern Health Craigieburn — OpenMelbourne WestCohealth Footscray — Over capacity, avoidMelbourne Showgrounds — Over capacity, avoid4 Cyte Sunshine — Over capacity, avoidVictoria University St Albans — Over capacity, avoidIPC Health Deer Park — OpenIPC Health Werribee East — Over capacity, avoid ACE Car Park Williams Landing — OpenMelbourne Pathology Wootten Road — Over capacity, avoidWestern Health Melton — Over capacity, avoid4 Cyte Pathology Melton — Over capacity, avoidMelton Football Netball Club — Over capacity, avoidMelbourne EastDeakin University — Over capacity, avoidChad Stone Golfers Drive — Over capacity, avoidACL Glen Waverley — Over capacity, avoidMonash University Clayton — Over capacity, avoid Brighton Golf Club — OpenSt Kilda East — Over capacity, avoidWantirna Health — Over capacity, avoidWyuna Walk Mooroolbark — Over capacity, avoidMelbourne South EastCentral Bayside Cheltenham — Over capacity, avoidSpringers Leisure Centre Keysborough — Over capacity, avoidACL Dandenong — Over capacity, avoidMonash Health Dandenong — OpenChelsea Basketball Stadium Bonbeach — Over capacity, avoidPeninsula Testing Hub — Over capacity, avoidFrankston Hospital — Over capacity, avoidCranbourne Testing Hub — Over capacity, avoidCasey Fields Cranbourne — Over capacity, avoidChisholm TAFE Berwick — Over capacity, avoidIYU Recreation Reserve Pakenham — OpenRosebud Hospital — Over capacity, avoidGoulburn ValleyGoulburn Valley Health‘s testing sites were being pushed to the limit on Tuesday morning with the drive-through clinic temporarily closing its gates to new patients before 9.30am.“We are currently experiencing high demand for our services. This, in conjunction with staff shortages, is putting increased pressure on our Covid testing sites,” GV Health said.“Our testing site at Shepparton Showgrounds is currently at capacity. The gates have now closed to allow staff to work their way through the queue waiting.“Community members who require testing this morning are advised to attend our testing site at Graham Street.”Echuca Regional Health was also forced to close its screening clinic before 10.30am on Tuesday morning.“Our clinic will re-open at 8am tomorrow, Wednesday January 5,” ERH said in a statement.Albury Wodonga Several Covid testing clinics in Albury Wodonga are being closed after just hours of being open.Dave Speirs arrived at the Lincoln Causeway testing site at 5.30am and there were already 30 cars ahead of him.After a two and a half-hour wait, Mr Speirs was back in Wodonga, but the site was closed at 8.30am, along with the Smythe Street clinic.Georgia Farrington waited nearly four hours with her six-month-old son Fletcher at the Lavington Sports Ground.Ms Farrington said the whole experience was “distressing”.“Fletcher slept for a little while so it was okay,” Ms Farrington said.“But after that he was pretty upset and then of course getting the test wasn’t nice. He was sick when he was born so they struggled to get the test down his nose.”Siobhan Osmand was turned away from the testing clinic at the Albury Showgrounds and was sent to the Lavington Sports Ground, which closed at 10.30am Tuesday.“I feel like people are just getting tested because [they can], not because they have symptoms,” Ms Osmand said.“People are stockpiling RAT tests which means the ones who do need them miss out.”BallaratOn Tuesday, the Ballarat Creswick Road drive-through testing clinic was temporarily closed to new arrivals so that it could clear its backlog.That policy remained in place on Wednesday morning.“The Creswick Road testing clinic will continue to temporarily close when we experience high demand for the safety of our staff and those attending,” Ballarat Health Services said.On Tueday, contractors were directing drivers not to enter the slipway leading to the clinic, but instead to wait, if willing, across the road until the clinic opens again. One man in the car park outside had come from Maryborough having tried other clinics unsuccessfully, and had been waiting on Creswick Road about an hour.Another, a Ballarat local, had been in his car for 90 minutes and said he would give it perhaps another hour before giving up.Bass CoastBass Coast Health’s drive-through testing clinic at Cowes is temporarily closed due to staff shortages. It is unclear when it will reopen.The Wonthaggi drive-through clinic stopped accepting new cars from midday on Tuesday but will reopen on Wednesday.On Monday staff closed the line to new cars at 12.30pm but did not finish testing until 6pm.The average wait time is about four hours.
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