Kangaroo Island COVID-19 clinic conducting tests, health service gears up

Kangaroo Island Hospital staff have tested between two and six people a day for coronavirus at a special testing clinic.

SA Health set up the COVID-19 clinic at Kangaroo Island Hospital on Friday, March 20.

Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network Infection Prevention and Control acting nursing unit manager, Rebecca Newton-McLean, was on the Island in recent days to help set up the clinic.

She worked with Kangaroo Island Health Service acting executive officer and director of nursing, Helen Hall to set up facilities and procedures, including special coronavirus room.

While the KI Hospital itself did not have intensive care beds, it did have surgery capabilities and wards with at least one ventilator.

Coronavirus work instructions were now in place for hospital staff, including the Island's doctors, she said.

Whether patients were treated on the Island or sent to the mainland depended on their clinical needs at the time and the availability of services elsewhere.

Ms Newton-McLean said the health workers at the KI COVID-19 clinic had tested between two and six people each day.

Results took about three days to return and there had been no positive tests yet.

Patients need to meet strict criteria to undergo a test but those criteria had expanded in recent days to include anyone who has travelled interstate.

Kangaroo Island Health Service COVID-19 clinic is located at 3 Esplanade, Kingscote, in the day centre building with designated access through a side entrance.

All cases must however go through the KI Medical Clinic, who will assess and triage cases to the clinic.

If you believe you have symptoms or are concerned about anyone in the community, contact the clinic directly on 8553 2037. After hours or on weekends, booking can be made via the hospital on 8553 4200.

Ms Newton-McLean said all Kangaroo Island residents should listen to advice from SA Health and follow the four steps of social distancing, covering coughs, washing hands and not touching your face.