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Labor calls for expanded coronavirus testing

The State Opposition is calling on the NSW Government to immediately expand testing to everyone reporting coronavirus symptoms on the Central Coast, with the region reporting the fifth highest number of confirmed cases in the state.

Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch said that, even though reported new cases of the virus have begun to flatten around Australia, it was vital that health authorities maintained a rigorous testing regime on the Central Coast.

"We have more cases than both Illawarra and the Blue Mountains, yet we have conducted fewer tests and have a lower testing percentage by population.

"To get on top of this, and to really know that we are stamping out the novel coronavirus, we need to be sure that community transmission is not occurring.

"We need more testing on the Coast to make sure that asymptomatic carriers aren't out and about.

"We need to make sure that people testing negative aren't carrying the virus, and that people who have recovered aren't testing positive again as is happening in other countries.

"The Coast has an older population that needs to be shielded from the ravages of this disease, and the best way to do that is by increasing testing and properly resourcing our local fever clinics."

State Shadow Minister for Health Mr Ryan Park said that anyone returning to Queensland from the Central Coast was required to self-isolate for 14 days because it was regarded to be a hotspot.

"NSW has now made testing available to anyone reporting symptoms in areas like Blacktown, Westmead and Liverpool - after doing so for places like Ryde, the Eastern Suburbs, Broken Hill and Port Macquarie (the previous week)."

Mr Park asked why the Central Coast, which had 102 confirmed cases at April 12, had been left off the list.

"It's vital that anyone who needs a test can get one in any part of NSW," he said.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Mr Adam Crouch, said increased testing had been added for several areas which had been prioritised as they had a small number of cases of community transmission where the source had not been identified.

"Covid-19 clinics here on the Coast, at Gosford and Wyong Hospitals, are operating seven days a week and I would urge anyone who is feeling unwell with a cough or a fever to get assessed at one of these free Covid-19 clinics or speak with their GP."

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