For the vast majority of people within Ballarat to be tested for COVID-19, you have to be showing even the most minor of respiratory symptoms.
This is no longer the case for school staff, with Ballarat Health Services CEO Dale Fraser encouraging staff returning to schools to be tested even if they are asymptomatic (not showing symptoms).
A new testing facility is set to open at the Wendouree Centre of Performing Arts (WCPA) from Monday 18 May to Friday 22 May.
The clinic will operate between 9am and 5pm and will provide voluntary testing for all local school staff.
Mr Fraser said it is crucial school staff be tested prior to returning to the classroom.
"Our community stepped-up during the recent testing blitz, and now we're looking to our teachers and school staff to get tested for COVID-19 before students return to work on-site," Mr Fraser said.
The testing will be free for teachers, who will not need to make an appointment at the WCPA.
He directed all those who are showing symptoms to continue booking in at the Lucas Community Centre testing facility, which administered its 2000th test this week.
"Anyone displaying even the mildest of symptoms should make an appointment to be tested at UFS Lucas clinic.
"The community must follow the Victorian Government's restrictions, use common sense and maintain social distance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19."
The testing facility has administered more than 700 COVID-19 tests over the past seven days.
School staff in Daylesford will have a similar facility set up from Thursday at the Central Highlands Rural Health Community Health Centre at 13 Hospital Street.
Victorian school staff in Hepburn Shire will be able to book appointments to the new facility from Wednesday, with testing available from Thursday to Tuesday May 26.
The clinic will also open to the public from Monday May 25, however as normal they will have to book in and be showing symptoms to receive an appointment.
This comes after Premier Daniel Andrews announced that foundation, year 1 and year 2 students and year 11 and 12 students will be first back into the classroom on May 26, with other grades returning by June 9.
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