Peninsula Health hits COVID-19 testing milestone with 250,000 swabs

Some of the COVID-19 Screening Clinics team at the Frankston Hospital campus drive and walk through testing location. Photo: Peninsula Health

More than a quarter of a million people have been tested at Peninsula Health run COVID-19 Screening Clinics, with the major milestone reached 18 months after the first swab was taken in the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula region.

This was achieved on Thursday 2 September at the health service’s flagship drive and walk through testing site, located on the former tennis courts next to Frankston Hospital.

Dozens of staff – including nurses, allied health, ward clerks, security guards and traffic controllers – have operated multiple permanent and temporary locations. The Mobile team has covered hundreds of kilometres since the onset of the pandemic, operating testing sites from Seaford, all the way down to Portsea.

COVID-19 Screening Clinics Operations Director Jodi Foley said the community continues to do an amazing job at getting tested, whether it be at the earliest sign of symptoms or attending a recently listed exposure site.

“We are so proud of the efforts from everyone in Frankston and right across the Peninsula, who simply continue to come forward for a test,” she said.

“Our capacity has significantly increased since we started this work just over a year and a half ago, with the scaling up of our equipment and workforce now able to take up to 2,000 coronavirus tests a day.”

“Thanks to our partnerships with Dorevitch private pathology labs we are regularly able to turn around these swab test results in less than 24 hours.”

As the Delta outbreak saw a spike in the daily cases numbers at the start of September, Executive Director, Operations Helen Cooper – who is leading Peninsula Health’s COVID-19 Response – said a high testing rate into 2022 would continue to help paint a vital picture, when it comes to tracking the virus.

“We know COVID-19 is moving throughout metropolitan Melbourne and parts of regional Victoria through community transmission – but we only know of these locally acquired infections through ongoing testing,” she said.

“Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula has enjoyed some of the highest testing rates in the state, and it’s all thanks to the magnificent work of Jodi and the team to provide our community with the ability to get a test locally and quickly.”

“As we emerge from winter and the grass pollen season less than a month away, it’s never been more important to get a test, no matter how mild your symptoms may be.”

“Be aware of the most common coronavirus symptoms, including fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose or loss of sense of smell.”

Ms Cooper said it was important for the community to remain vigilant by staying on top of exposure sites.

“We have seen a number of Tier 1 and Tier 2 exposure sites recently in and around our region, including areas such as Rosebud, Carrum Downs and Seaford,” she said.

“We ask everyone to regularly check the Department of Health website and our Facebook page for updates, to see when additional exposure sites have been published online. Importantly, please follow the health advice.”

“With community transmission occurring we would like to remind our entire community that the most effective way to reduce transmission is to wear a mask, practice hand hygiene and maintain appropriate physical distance from others.”

To see a list of testing sites check