Fresh Rollout Of RATs To SA Concession Card Holders Begins Today

Following end of federal funding

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South Australia’s most vulnerable are entitled to free rapid antigen tests (RATs) from today as the state hopes a third wave of COVID-19 has passed. 

More than 50 RAT collection points have been established by SA Health, while PCR clinics will operate at Aldinga, Bedford Park and Walkley Heights.

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Additional locations will become available if demand increases again.

Those with pensioner concession, Commonwealth senior health, health care, low-income health care or veterans’ affairs concession cars holders are entitled to free RATS.

While the State Government will provide free RATS until September 30 after a National Cabinet decision last month, pharmacies will no longer provide the free tests following the end of federal funding yesterday.

Health Minister Chris Picton said those who returned a negative RAT but still presented symptoms should take a PCR test. 

“(RATs) are an easy way to test and if you record a positive result then you can get quick access to lifesaving antivirals, which are now widely available to vulnerable groups,” he said.

“But please remember if you have symptoms and record a negative RAT then you will need to follow-up with a PCR test.

“As we deal with this current wave, it’s as important as ever for South Australians to get tested, stay home if unwell and do what we can to reduce community transmission.”

The scheme emerged following government sources saying the latest Omicron wave appeared to have peaked ahead of Cabinet’s Emergency Management Council meeting on Tuesday.

The sources said was unlikely any changes to rules would be announced.

Still remaining cautious of Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5 and their ability to spread rapidly – the variants accounting for more than 80 per cent of SA’s cases – SA Health and the Transport Departments have stepped up efforts to boost compliancy.

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1 August 2022

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