Chaos as COVID testing clinics close, leaving thousands in limbo

Testing clinics are under enormous pressure.
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The COVID-19 response in NSW is all but broken with testing sites closing and residents with serious symptoms unable to access a PCR test.

The Weekender understands almost all COVID testing clinics across Penrith have closed today.

A short time ago the testing clinic on Bringelly Road at Kingswood closed, with police telling the long line of motorists to go elsewhere.

The site on the Western Sydney University campus at Werrington will be closed until Wednesday.

The Regatta Centre testing clinic is also closed and will not open again until January 3.

A Weekender reader, John, is displaying serious COVID-19 symptoms and said he had been to five sites this morning only to be told they’re all closed.

“I’m just going to have go home and ride it out, I don’t really have another choice,” he said.

Despite a huge demand for tests, a number of clinics are operating on “reduced hours” over the Christmas period.

The pressure on testing clinics comes as a result of tens of thousands of close contact notifications, resulting in a surge of COVID-19 cases. In addition, other states including Queensland require negative PCR tests before crossing the border.

267 new cases were reported in the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District today, a number that has been rising in recent days.

Across NSW, there are currently 520 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 55 people in intensive care, 17 of whom require ventilation. The majority in ICU are unvaccinated.

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