Update: People waited for more than three hours for COVID tests as dozens of cars converged on the drive-through clinic at the Mackay showgrounds on Sunday.

Due to the high demand, following advice from the state’s chief health officer, Mackay Hospital and Health Service announced Monday’s hours would be extended from 8am to 4pm.

The clinic was initially going to close at 11am.

More than 50 people have already been tested in Mackay today with cars still lining up at the clinic.

Anyone else thinking of being COVID tested is advised to return on Monday when there will be a wider range of testing options in Mackay and the Whitsundays as private facilities re-open.

“Thank you to everyone who has responded to the call for testing after having visited Victoria on or after 21 December – we really appreciate you being responsible,” a MHHS spokesperson posted on social media.

“Thank you also to those who were tested at the Showgrounds today – your patience was admired and appreciated.”

Anyone planning to having a COVID test at the drive-through site is urged to bring a book or a device, water and a snack and if you have children remember entertainment for them too.

Dozens of cars line up at the drive-through COVID clinic at Mackay showgrounds on Sunday, January 3 2021.
Dozens of cars line up at the drive-through COVID clinic at Mackay showgrounds on Sunday, January 3 2021.

Earlier: Cars are already lining up outside Mackay’s drive-through COVID clinic following advice from the state’s chief health officer for anyone who has been to Victoria in the past fortnight to get tested immediately.

As a result the clinic at Mackay Showgrounds will open between 11am and 4pm today.

This comes after Dr Jeanette Young on Saturday revealed there was a Mackay link to a confirmed COVID case in Victoria.

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“We already have one close contact of a Victorian case, in the Mackay region, and one casual contact on the Gold Coast – and I anticipate more to come,” Dr Young said on Saturday.

The drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic at Mackay Showgrounds.
The drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic at Mackay Showgrounds.

There are currently 40 active self quarantine notices within the Mackay district.

Anyone who has been in Victoria on or since December 21 should organise a COVID-19 test and quarantine at home or at your accommodation until a negative result is received.

Dozens of cars line up at the drive-through COVID clinic at Mackay showgrounds on Sunday, January 3 2021.
Dozens of cars line up at the drive-through COVID clinic at Mackay showgrounds on Sunday, January 3 2021.

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There are also testing options between 10am and 2pm in Bowen and Moranbah for anyone living outside Mackay. Appointments are essential – phone Vanguard Health on 1800 980 574.

Hospital emergency departments can also perform tests.

Dozens of cars line up at the drive-through COVID clinic at Mackay showgrounds on Sunday, January 3 2021.
Dozens of cars line up at the drive-through COVID clinic at Mackay showgrounds on Sunday, January 3 2021.

But anyone in the Mackay Hospital and Health Service region who is unclear on if you should be tested is urged to phone the COVID-19 hotline on 4885 5666.

The testing clinic at the showgrounds will reopen on Monday from 8am.


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