A TAMWORTH pathology company will open a new office for test sample collection for COVID-19 on Friday.
The Leader can confirm Douglass Hanly Moir will open the doors to a refurbished office across the hall from its Tamworth CBD headquarters.
The Peel Street pathology unit has already been testing for coronavirus for some weeks in Tamworth, once patients have obtained a referral from the GP and now will have even more scope for sample collection to be dropped off and sent off to a testing laboratory.
That process is expected to continue once the doors to the new expansion open on Friday.
The Leader has confirmed the federal government-funded community respiratory clinic is still being fitted out and is expected to open in the coming weeks.
That pop-up clinic will be run by North West Heath in conjunction with the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network (PHN).
TAMWORTH's own coronavirus pop-up testing facility is set to open on Friday to help test locals for COVID-19.
On Thursday morning, New England MP Barnaby Joyce announced the first of two COVID-19 specific facilities would open this week, with a specialised treatment centre for mild cases of the disease to open next week.
"The diagnostic facilities, which will be coming into a pathology area in Tamworth, we've been fighting for that and we have got that," Mr Joyce said.
"We also have the clinic, which basically, if you have a mild case of COVID-19 you can go to that.
"If it's intense you're at the hospital, if it's asymptomatic or mild, or very mild, then you stay at home in isolation obviously.
"In those in-between areas, this is what the pop-up clinic is for, they are currently constructing it.
"The pathology we are hoping will be ready by tomorrow [Friday] and the pop-up clinic will hopefully be completed by next week."
The announcement comes as the case rate for Tamworth remains stable.
On Thursday, NSW Health revealed that Tamworth did not have any new cases of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours to Wednesday night. Tamworth has had 12 confirmed cases since Monday.
"The Australian people have been doing their job," Mr Joyce said.
"We are getting, what we believe, is a turn down of the curve and that is because of the self-isolation policy that has been in place.
"We have to be aware now that it is in our district and that doesn't mean panic, it means follow the protocols."
Mr Joyce said there was no time frame on the two facilities tenure in Tamworth, saying they would "be here as required".
"The other thing, such as the $1500 a fortnight wage subsidy, that the employer gets, we have envisaged that for the next six months," he said.
"So if we are looking at time frames, that would be a rough rule of thumb."
Editors note: This story has been updated after new information came to hand on Thursday afternoon.
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