Negative COVID-19 results to be sent via SMS Thursday, 12 March 2020

Requests for COVID-19 tests are expected to increaseNegative test results will be provided via SMSReducing administrative time spent on return phone callsWHO declaration of pandemic does not change WA responseWestern Australians who return negative test results for COVID-19 (coronavirus) will now be informed via SMS notification.The changing global environment is expected to increase the number of requests for testing in WA, so it is important to handle this demand by reducing administrative time spent on return phone calls.By providing negative results via SMS, those waiting at home in isolation will be informed more quickly and efficiently, giving them certainty about their health and the ability to leave their homes to go about their normal business.The message from WA Health provides further advice for patients who continue to feel unwell, or have travelled through specific countries, or been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus.Health staff will follow up on text messages in the initial days to ensure they are being received and confirm the system is working.Members of the public can telephone the coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 for advice and find more information by visiting McGowan Government's response to COVID-19 is well advanced and on a pandemic footing. Today's declaration by the World Health Organization does not change Western Australia's approach to the virus.Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:"At this early stage, more than 700 COVID-19 tests are being conducted per day, and that number is only expected to rise."It can take clinicians up to 20 minutes per phone call to inform patients of a negative test result."This SMS system will allow those clinicians to reduce administrative time spent on return phone calls so they can focus on getting the job done."Those Western Australians waiting at home in isolation will also be notified quicker to allow them to go about their normal lives."The declaration by the World Health Organization today that COVID-19 has become a pandemic does not change the Western Australian response, as we have been in pandemic mode for some time to protect the community."Minister's office - 6552 6500


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