About the Initiative
BHP has established a $50 million (AUD) Vital Resources Fund to help support regional Australian communities in its areas of operation that are facing significant challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information please visit bhp.com/vitalresources.
By boosting the number of testing centres locally, we hope to help to minimise the spread of COVID-19 across the community, to free up local hospitals and GP’s to provide emergency, public health and general health care and to provide a capability to support local business readiness, if needed, as public health restrictions are gradually lifted.
The current service is set up to run for six months, with the potential for two x three month extensions.
About the COVID-19 Testing Centres
The COVID-19 Testing Centres are assessment and testing centres operated and staffed with experienced doctors and nurses provided by Vanguard Health. There will be two temporary, stand-alone testing centres, one built in Moranbah and one built in Bowen. Each Testing Centre will also have a mobile testing service which will operate a regular loop to nearby communities each week. The Testing Centres are open to members of the general public who hold a Medicare Card at no cost and who meet the testing criteria set by the Queensland Government.
We offer a testing service only for members of the general public who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and who meet the current testing criteria set by the Queensland Government.
Our doctor will conduct a simple assessment on each patient prior to testing but will not provide general medical services. If you are really sick, our doctor will refer you to the local hospital or to your GP for further treatment and management.
These centres are designed to support existing health service providers, like GP’s, to continue caring for patients in need who do not have the virus. If you require general medical services including immunisations, general/annual check-ups, prescriptions and/or medical certificates, you should see your local GP.
Our doctor will only be able to provide a medical certificate for the short period of time i.e., 48-72 hours to cover the self-isolation period while you are waiting for your test result.
The COVID-19 Testing Centres are located in Moranbah and Bowen.
The COVID-19 Moranbah Testing Centre is located at 146 Mills Avenue, Moranbah. The Testing Centre is on the grounds of the Moranbah Hospital but will operate separately from the hospital.
The COVID-19 Bowen Testing Centre is located on the corner of 53 Gregory Street, Bowen.
More information about the physical locations of the COVID-19 Testing Centres is available on our Contact page.
The testing centre locations of Moranbah and Bowen were selected in consultation with local Councils, the Mackay Hospital and Health Service and with representatives from General Practice. We also considered where other testing clinics were being established across the region to ensure we didn’t duplicate services.
The mobile outreach service will be designed to provide better access for more remote communities and to support the transitionary workforce in these regions.
The Testing Centres opened in late May and will operate until the end of November 2020, subject to demand. The Test Centres will operate seven days a week from 10am until 6pm. Bookings will be available over phone between 10am and 5.15pm, while online bookings can be made 24/7 using the booking.
The mobile testing schedule, including locations and dates, is now available on the website or alternatively, please feel free to call the centre on 1800 980 574 for more information.
In Queensland, testing may be done for people who have fever (or history of fever) OR acute respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath) OR Headache, muscle pains, runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea, fatigue, loss of sense of smell, altered sense of taste, loss of appetite OR who have been directed to be tested.
We suggest completing the Health Direct COVID-19 Symptom Checker to check if you are recommended to undergo testing for COVID-19 before making an appointment.
If you are unsure, please contact our staff on 1800 980 574 to check if you can be tested at our centre.
Our doctor or nurse will collect swab samples from the inside of your nose and throat to test for COVID-19. They will be wearing personal protective equipment to keep them and you safe. The swab will only take a couple of seconds to collect.
The samples are then collected and sent to the nearest laboratory that can test for COVID-19. The result may take several days.
After the test, if you aren’t really sick, you must go directly home and stay home to self-isolate while you wait for the test results. Our doctor will be able to provide a medical certificate for the short period of time i.e., 48-72 hours to cover the self-isolation period while you are waiting for your test result.
If you are really sick, our doctor may refer you directly to hospital for further treatment while you wait for the test results.
If your condition worsens while awaiting test results, you can contact our Testing Centre to arrange a telehealth appointment with our doctor, contact 13HEALTH, or your local GP.
If you get really sick while awaiting test results, you should call 000 or go to the emergency department of your nearest hospital. Tell staff that you have been tested for COVID-19.
Depending on your test result, you may be contacted by one of our doctors or by staff from the local Public Health Unit.
To comply with best practice guidelines for COVID-19 testing, to maintain social distancing and to rationalise valuable test resources, our testing services will operate using a booking system only.
Step 1 – First check if you are eligible for a COVID-19 test by completing the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Symptom Checker. Alternatively use the symptom checker on our online booking system or call our team on 1800 980 574.
Step 2 – Book your appointment by selecting your preferred location, day and time and registering your details via our online booking system or call 1800 980 574.
Step 3 – Follow the pre-arrival instructions given to you by our testing team and have your COVID-19 test!
- confirm your appointment via our SMS reminder to confirm that you are still coming to your appointment.
- bring your current Medicare Card and some photo identification such as your licence, passport, student ID with you.
- wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before you leave home and when you return.
- maintain social distancing and avoid direct and personal contact with other people on your way to and from the testing Centre.
- after testing, follow the directions given to you by the doctors and nurses at the Testing Centre.
Available parking will be clearly marked near the testing centres.
Keeping safe during COVID-19
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, a sore throat and shortness of breath. The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection.
- National Coronavirus Helpline: 1800 020 080. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Queensland Health, Coronavirus COVID-19, Health Alerts
- Queensland Health, Coronavirus COVID-19, Support and Resources
- Australian Government, Coronavirus COVID-19 Health Alert
- Australian Government Coronavirus Australia App, for up to date information about Coronavirus in Australia
- Australian Government WhatsApp channel for COVID-19, for up to date information about Coronavirus in Australia
- Mackay Hospital and Health Service, COVID-19 Updates
- North Queensland Primary Health Network, COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) – Information for our community
There are a number of multi-lingual resources available for people from a non-English speaking background.
The Australian Government recommends the following to protect others and stop the spread of COVID-19:
- practise good hygiene
- practise social distancing
- follow the limits for public gatherings
- understand how to self-isolate if you need to
If you have a confirmed case, you must isolate yourself to stop the virus spreading to other people.
COVIDSafe is a new tool to help speed up how we notify people exposed to COVID-19 so the health system can protect you, your family and friends. Although completely voluntary, we do recommend that you download the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe App.
Those most at risk of serious infection are:
- people with compromised immune systems (such as people who have cancer)
- elderly people
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (as they have higher rates of chronic illness)
- people with chronic medical conditions
- people in group residential settings
- people in detention facilities
The World Health Organisation advises that to date, there are no specific vaccines or medicines for COVID-19.