Regional testing disappointment

DISAPPOINTMENT: Shadow minister, Clare Scriven is not happy after regional communities have been left out of the RAT rollout. Photo: Shutterstock
DISAPPOINTMENT: Shadow minister, Clare Scriven is not happy after regional communities have been left out of the RAT rollout. Photo: Shutterstock

The Marshall Liberal Government has established Rapid Antigen Test (RATs) distribution centres in metropolitan South Australia, but shadow minister for regional development, Clare Scriven said regional communities have been forgotten.

The new process, which started Thursday, 13 January, made two free RATs available to people who registered as close contacts.

There has only been one pick up site in the city set up though and Mrs Scriven said regional communities have been left behind.

Regional residents have been subject to some of the longest waiting times for Covid-19 tests in recent weeks.

The Covid-19 testing site in Mt Gambier has had an average wait time of over four hours every day this year and the Millicent testing site has shut its doors.

"Regional residents must not be discriminated against on the basis of their postcode," Mrs Scriven said.

"Distribution centres should be operational in regional hubs from the end of this week, given metropolitan Adelaide will be serviced from today [January 13],

"Residents in our regions shouldn't have to drive a return trip of up to 10 hours or more to pick up a rapid antigen test."

Regional residents have longer distances to travel to access PCR tests, while metropolitan close contacts have access to a RAT test with a short drive to the distribution centre.

South Australian premier, Steven Marshall announced there will be an additional 12 RAT pick up sites across metropolitan and regional South Australia, but did not confirm where exactly they would be located.

There are four PCR testing sites in the Limestone Coast, located at Bordertown, Naracoorte, Mt Gambier, and Robe.

This story Regional testing disappointment first appeared on Border Chronicle.