Tens of millions more Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) will soon be available to Victorians, with the Victorian Government ordering a further 166 million tests, building on its initial bulk order of 44 million.
It comes as more than 4.5 million extra tests have landed in Victoria already this week, in addition to the 3 million tests which arrived on Sunday.
The distribution of free RATs is helping to reduce the pressure on the PCR testing system, where turnaround times are improving – with more than 80 per cent of PCR tests now being returned to Victorians within 24 hours of getting tested.
In total, more than 2.2 million RATs will have been distributed to health workers, staff in sensitive settings and vulnerable communities by the end of the week.
Victoria’s health services have been prioritised in the delivery of RATs, so staff at hospitals and GP respiratory clinics can continue to work safely.
More than 50 community organisations have received RATs so far – including in priority setting such as community health sites, disability support services, Aboriginal community organisations, family support centres, mental health
services and regional centres.
Since the RAT reporting system opened on Friday 7 January, 179,207 Victorians have reported a positive result either via the coronavirus website or by phone.
Premier Daniel Andrews said, “We’re providing millions of rapid antigen tests to the Victorians who need it most, so they can protect us and our loved ones – prioritising workers who keep our health, aged care, disability and emergency service sectors going.”
“There are two critical ways we can drive our COVID-19 numbers down – get your third vaccine dose to better protect yourself and the community and isolate if you test positive on a rapid test or a PCR.”
“It has never been easier to get your third dose. If you had your second vaccine dose in October, you can now go and get your third dose at a state-run centre.”
If you test positive on a RAT, you must report your positive result to the Department of Health by visiting www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/report or calling 1800 675 398. Those needing help in a language other than English can dial 0 for translations.