Workers at Western Australia’s borders and in quarantine hotels who display no symptoms of COVID-19 will be able to take up weekly COVID-19 testing.
Focused asymptomatic testing is a necessary part of the State’s ongoing monitoring program for COVID-19.
The new volunteer testing program, DETECT Borders, will run from today (September 11) until November 30, 2020.
Free testing is available at COVID clinics in the metropolitan and regional areas, and some testing will also be facilitated in the affected workplaces to maximise participation.
Western Australia’s hard borders and quarantine program have been highly effective in preventing COVID-19 transmission into the State.
While WA has not had any community transmission for months on end, those patrolling our borders and enforcing restrictions, and are at a greater risk of infection from returning travellers, will have the option to undertake this asymptomatic testing as an extra precaution.
Through weekly testing of frontline workers in our border defence, any cases of COVID-19 will be swiftly detected, and any subsequent outbreak prevented or stopped in its tracks as quickly as possible.
DETECT Borders complements existing testing requirements for exempt travellers and other groups such as transport, freight and logistics.
People who fit the criteria for asymptomatic testing can resume normal activities immediately and will be informed of a negative result via SMS. Anyone who tests positive will be followed up in line with existing public health procedures.
People who are eligible for testing include adult workers who display no symptoms of COVID-19 working or contracted at:
- State Health Incident Control Centre (SHICC) quarantine hotels
- Hotel employees (including contractors)
- Security staff working at the hotel
- Health staff
- Drivers of transport of quarantine guests
- WA Police
- Others, such as Australian Defence Force
Workers on-site at Perth Airport in areas through which arriving passengers (or their baggage) transit including:
- Perth Airport or airline staff
- WA Police
- Federal agencies
- Drivers of hotel quarantine buses
Any employee or contractor involved in any function of a sea port that involves close contact with people arriving from overseas.
Eucla and Kununurra border crossings
Any employee or contractor involved in any function at Eucla or Kununurra border crossings that requires close contact with people arriving from interstate.
Any other community member who has symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild, is encouraged to get tested so we can catch cases before they spread.
COVID-19 symptoms include fever, history of fever, or respiratory symptoms including shortness of breath, cough and/or sore throat, or acute loss of taste and smell.
For details of clinics and opening hours, visit https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/coronavirus
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“WA has an enviable track record of no community transmission and we are doing everything possible to maintain this so Western Australians can continue to enjoy the social and economic benefits it has afforded us.
“I thank each and every worker for their efforts, day in and day out, in securing the border, managing quarantine arrangements and undertaking and processing COVID-19 testing. What they do is critical in maintaining life as we know it.
“As witnessed in New Zealand, there were extensive periods of no community transmission, however the virus did creep back in, therefore all Western Australians need to be vigilant and precautious to better protect themselves and others.”
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“Additional testing regimes complement the maintenance of our hard borders, strong quarantine arrangements and enables us to rapidly respond to any positive COVID-19 test result.
“The value of DETECT Borders depends on the number of participants in the program and I would encourage all those who work within the identified groups to get tested for COVID-19.
“We are aiming for maximum participation and are ensuring convenient testing is available to even the most remote border workers.”