RAT tests: looking for rapid antigen tests across Tasmania

Tasmanians continued to scramble to get their hands on rapid antigen testing across the state after a big change in testing rules.

The rush to find rapid antigenic tests (RATs) across Tasmania intensified on Friday after the state government announced a big change in testing rules.

On Friday morning, a line of customers had walked out of the Chemist Warehouse Salamanca in hopes of picking up one of the test kits.

RATs have become the primary diagnostic tool for Covid-19 in Tasmania instead of PCR tests since Thursday, with plans to distribute them to post offices and airports.

Jane Pelham was in the roughly 50m queue starting at 8:30 am with her daughter Rosie Pelham.

She said the line had moved quickly to the Montpellier Retreat site.

“We were in the queue for literally 10 minutes,” she said.

“We have a family of five and although neither of us have symptoms at the moment, I have children who are still trying to live relatively normal lives.

“It’s great to have access to one if they have a symptom, for peace of mind. “

Ms Pelham said the tests were reasonably priced around $ 10.

People hid in the rain in the Salamanca pharmacy until 9.45am, when they all sold.

Chemist Warehouse could not confirm when the RATs will be back in stock.

Melbourne man Trent Ellen left the chemist empty-handed.

He had encountered “lots of problems” locating a RAT.

“We actually went home and thought we would do the right thing and pass a RAT test before we jumped on a plane,” he said.

“We had been looking for a few days, we just didn’t know what to do, so we went down this morning when we heard there might be a few.”

Mr. Ellen hoped to try several other chemists.

“Otherwise we would probably head northwest where my partner’s family is from and see if Devonport or Launceston has any,” he said.

Mr Ellen planned to return to Melbourne on Saturday.

“We will be watching for symptoms and the family is also trying to check for other RATs,” he said.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed, we’ll get our hands on some, but it kind of puts us in a weird situation where we don’t want to infect an entire plane, and we really don’t have anywhere to go here if we’re positive.”

“We’re in a bit of a limbo right now, but we’ll just keep going and see what we can do.”

Meanwhile, New Town’s Chemist Warehouse sold its RATs within minutes.

They only had 250 available.

“The queue was so long it stretched all the way to the Coles supermarket,” said a staff member.

It is not known when more tests will be available, as the state says more RAT supplies will arrive in the coming weeks.

Prime Minister Peter Gutwein said Thursday that Tasmanians who test positive for a RAT will now have to register their results with public health – either by phone or online from 7 p.m. Thursday.

“People who have already had a positive RAT result in the past few days will be able to use this registration mechanism to identify themselves as a case and get help,” he said.

“This will ensure that you can access help from the public health services and the COVID @ home team during your illness, if needed.

“The proof of registration of your result will also be used for requests for financial assistance and requests for leave if you are an employee.

“Anyone who registers a positive RAT result will receive the same support and care as if you tested positive on a PCR test, but you must register your RAT so that we can identify you and register your case. “

Read related topics:Covid TasmaniaTasmania Health

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