Constant news stories on the global coronavirus pandemic are nothing short of tedious, especially when two months ago the only kind of corona we all knew was served chilled with a slice of lime.
But we can’t help but be impressed by Adelaide’s quick thinking and innovative solution to the pandemic; opening up a coronavirus-testing drive-thru in Southern Adelaide.
The drive-thru, the first of its kind here in Australia, allows patients to be tested for COVID-19 without even opening their car door.
The new operation is not to ensure maximum comfort Adelaideans when getting tested for the disease. Given the highly contagious nature of the disease and official advice for a 14-day isolation period should you become infected; the drive-thru protects medical professionals from any direct contact to those who may be infected.
This comes as a result of the global pandemic reaching Adelaide last week with a total of seven infected, including a mother and her baby, who are all currently stable. The operation should help to avoid some of the hazards that put health workers on the front line at risk of infection; such as “pathogen exposure, psychological distress and occupational burnout” which the World Health Organisation (WHO) drew to light.
The process is simple. Once referred by a GP, the patient is to head down to Repat hospital at Daw Park, drive through the side of the building and remain in their cars. Here they will be met by medical professionals kitted out in the full protective gear; masks, gloves and gowns. Swabs will be taken and tests will be done. It’s estimated that one patient can be seen per 20-minutes and the site will be open for around eight hours a day. By that maths, 24 people can be seen a day which isn’t great given the current hysteria and panic amongst Aussie hypochondriacs.
Unlike the Maccas drive thru’s we know and love, not anyone can just rock up and order a coronavirus test from the counter. Dr Tom Dodd, the SA Pathology’s clinical service director made it clear that “this service is really specifically for patients who have already seen a GP”.
The future of coronavirus is clouded by a vast sense of unknown. What we do know is that people are starting to get very annoyed. Whether it be those who are down to their last roll of toilet paper, had tickets to SXSW this Friday or are simply fed up of the distasteful and racist memes clogging up their timelines – it seems coronavirus is seeping into every aspect of our lives; regardless of infection.
Perhaps, this operation will have a dramatic impact in slowing down the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus. Who knows. With more corona-testing stations on the horizon maybe these Macca’s style drive thru’s really are the answer to coronavirus the world has been searching for.
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