Wimmera Health Care Group has come to the aid of Victoria’s stranded truck drivers with a temporary pop-up tent for COVID-19 testing. The service will provide a safe environment for truck drivers to be tested separately from symptomatic community members and asymptomatic team members.

The tent is in the car park off Read Street and directly in front of the current COVID-19 testing clinic. A sudden change to SA border conditions on Monday that left truck drivers stranded and with no alternative but to drive to Horsham for testing, has prompted the swift action.

WHCG team members were surprised to find many parking spaces around the hospital had been taken up by prime movers, when they arrived to work on Monday morning. WHCG COVID Testing Clinic manager Bernie Taylor said the tent was a temporary fix and would have its own testing team, separate from the clinic.

“The truck drivers will have a walkway marked out to separate them from symptomatic community members,” Ms Taylor said.

“We are hoping it will only be for a day or so until a roadside testing service can be provided at Nhill,” she said.

“That would be much more convenient for the truck drivers and it would free up the parking issue we have at the moment.”

Truck drivers can visit the tent for testing any time between 7.30am-12.30pm this week.

Symptomatic community members will continue to get tested during the usual time between 9am and 12 noon.

Operations director/Acute Maree Markby said WHCG management had been extremely supportive and provided the best service possible to keep everyone safe under the immediate circumstances.

“We’ve put additional staffing resources and the infrastructure into place to support this temporary requirement and I want to thank everyone that has helped make this happen,” she said.

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