AN AVOCA family remains stuck in self-isolation and feeling ostracised from its small community the past 11 days due to a lag in COVID-19 test results.
The father, a truck driver who did not wish to be named, said he was prepared to wear a couple of days in waiting but instead his whole family has been left in limbo, unable to go anywhere, while his results for the virus were unknown.
This was despite receiving verbal confirmation he was negative on Tuesday afternoon.
He was particularly concerned his story would discourage others from doing the right thing and get tested with cold or flu-like symptoms.
The father had the swab test on Friday, May 8, amid the last week of a statewide blitz. This campaign pushed for people unable to work from home and showing no symptoms to get tested.
He had a fever and booked an appointment with the UFS-led test site at Lucas Community Centre. He was told the results turnaround would be three to five days.
Due to his fever, the father must self-isolate at home until he receives his result but so too must those who live with him - his wife has been unable to work and his children were no longer allowed at school where they had been onsite one day each week.
This has put everything on hold for almost a fortnight. (The wait) is going to discourage others from getting a test if they feel unwell.Avoca father who remains waiting for his COVID-19 test result
"I had a bit of a fever and there are others at work with age against them, so I thought I'd do the right thing and get a test," he said. "This has put everything on hold for almost a fortnight. (The wait) is going to discourage others from getting a test if they feel unwell.
"...It is really frustrating, especially when you feel fine after a day or so."
A Bacchus Marsh chiropractor told The Courier last week she had been forced to self-isolate, unable to work, for eight days while her test result was pending. Dr Julia Higgins was concerned laboratory staff were severely under-resourced to keep up with the statewide testing blitz.
A Victorian health department spokesperson said most cases were taking three to five business days to confirm a result but "there may be times where the result takes longer". The spokesperson acknowledged the massive increase in tests being processed since the blitz.
The state has 15 laboratories working through COVID-19 tests. Sites include three public health reference laboratories, nine in public hospitals and three private providers.
Victoria has among the highest per capital coronavirus testing in the world with more than 358,000 tests complete, according to the health department.
The blitz aimed to better inform health authorities in the virus' community spread and, in turn, next preventative steps in easing lockdown restrictions.
While a pop-up clinic to test people without symptoms in Ballarat has closed, about 400 teachers and school staff were tested at Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts across Monday and Tuesday. Testing for asymptomatic school staff comes under a Victorian health department directive with some year levels to recommence onsite classes next week.
Anyone with symptoms can book a test at the Lucas clinic: Lucas 4311 1571. Testing is also available on weekends here.
Teachers in the Hepburn Shire can access Central Highlands Rural Health's new respiratory clinic in the Daylesford Community Centre from Thursday. This clinic will open to people with symptoms from Monday. Tests are by appointment, 5321 6654.
Anyone who has been waiting more than five business days for their result is encouraged to contact the clinic where they were tested or to call the COVID-19 hotline.
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