A HUGE increase in demand for local PRC testing over the holiday season has forced Laverty Pathology to cut the hours of its North Tamworth drive-through testing clinic.
Since the Marius Street sporting fields Laverty drive-through opened on Wednesday morning, it's been overflowing with queues of cars backed up for hours to get tested.
The clinic was initially open from 7am to 3pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 1pm on weekends, but will now open from 7:30am to 12:30pm. It will close from January 1 to 3.
A Laverty Pathology spokesperson said due to increased demand, staff are hitting their testing capacity earlier, and need the remaining hours of the day to get tests sent away.
"It's mainly due to trying to catch up in terms of volume, staffing may be a part of it in some locations, but it's mainly just due to the sheer volume of demand," the spokesperson said.
"In terms of a lot of our testing sites, we're reaching capacity earlier and in order to get the test results back to people in a reasonable turn around time, we're needing to reduce hours just like every other provider."
Normal hours are anticipated to return on January 4.
The increase in demand comes after four days of local COVID-19 testing clinics either closing, or operating on reduced hours over the Christmas period.
Tamworth's Marius Street drive-through testing site has been set up temporarily, after relocating from Plain Street, but no date has been set yet for its return.
The Tamworth Hospital clinic, Tamworth Respiratory Clinic and Douglas Hanly Moir are also undertaking testing, but are operating on reduced hours this week and will close on public holidays.
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