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COVID-19: Drive-through testing facility given go-ahead at Rooke – 159/2020

By March 10, 2020 No Comments

A GHA Drive-Through Testing facility has been given approval to go-ahead at Rooke. This temporary facility is planned to be operational within a few days.

The Government has authorised that part of the site be dedicated to the provision of a “drive-through” facility for the GHA where patients can be tested for Coronavirus/COVID-19. It is also anticipated that blood tests may be taken in the same way for those invited to take them up in the near future.

The works at Rooke are expected to commence imminently.

Only patients who have been invited due to their potential exposure will be given the test. People will not be asked to leave their car but will be swabbed as they wait, having first provided the necessary validation of their appointment. The sample will then be processed in the usual way. The GHA is working hard to process tests locally by the end of March, but at the moment swabs are sent to London. GHA staff will be wearing aprons, gloves and masks/face shields.

By being tested in their own cars, people will be protected from contamination that might arise from visiting St Bernard’s Hospital. Similar services have just been developed in the UK, South Korea and Germany, but this way to test people is also an innovation in Gibraltar

This is part of the preparations of the Government, the GHA and Public Health Gibraltar for a worst case scenario as we face the challenges posed by COVID-19.