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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 302 asked in the Legislative Council on 1 April 2020 by Hon Jacqui Boydell

Minister responding: Hon R.H. Cook
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 1 April 2020

CORONAVIRUS — TESTING — REGIONAL AREAS

302. Hon JACQUI BOYDELL to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Health:

I refer to the testing of patients for COVID-19.

(1) How is the WA Country Health Service supporting communities that do not have a local WACHS hospital or nursing post to provide a testing service?

(2) What is the average transportation time from each of the state's nine regions to the PathWest laboratories?

(3) What is the average time for a result from a test once it reaches the PathWest laboratory?

(4) How many tests have been assessed from each of the state's nine regions and how many are positive to date from each region, and could they please be broken down by region?

(5) How many tests have been undertaken in Aboriginal and remote communities and how many are positive to date?

Hon ALANNA CLOHESY replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. I note that the information provided was accurate as of Tuesday, 31 March.

(1) The WA Country Health Service has worked with our health partners to ensure that COVID-19 tests are able to be undertaken at all Silver Chain remote area nursing posts, Aboriginal medical services and the Royal Flying Doctor Service where it provides a clinical service and when the patients meet the COVID-19 testing criteria.

(2) The transportation time from each region varies day to day depending on a number of factors. The information provided on average transport time is in tabular form, set by region and average transport time, and I seek leave to have that incorporated into Hansard.

Leave granted.

The following material was incorporated —

Region

Average transportation time

Kimberley

8 hours

Pilbara

9 hours

Goldfields

12 hours

Wheatbelt

8 hours

Great Southern

10 hours

South West

8 hours

Midwest

10 hours

 

(3) Turnaround times for COVID-19 samples are up to 72 hours from when they are received in the laboratory, with many factors influencing the turnaround time on a daily basis. Currently, testing is being completed within 24 hours.

(4) Information about regional testing numbers as at 12.30 pm on 31 March 2020 is in tabular form, by region, total tests and number positive. I seek leave to have that table incorporated into Hansard.

Leave granted.

The following material was incorporated —

Region

Total tests

Number positives

Kimberley

188

6

Pilbara

222

4

Goldfields

153

3

Wheatbelt

213

4

Great Southern

226

7

South West

757

8

Midwest

261

2

Total

2020

34

 

(5) PathWest testing data is reported by region, and Aboriginal and remote communities are included in these numbers.