580. Hon ALISON XAMON to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Health:
I refer to the COVID-19 community testing regime.
(1) Will the government expand current criteria to enable people who are considered vulnerable and may be concerned that they have been exposed to the virus but who do not exhibit symptoms to be tested?
(2) If not, why not?
Hon ALANNA CLOHESY replied:
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.
(2) Those in the community who have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 are identified by Public Health and have a very comprehensive interview and follow-up for 14 days after their exposure. If these contacts develop any symptoms of COVID-19, Public Health arranges testing immediately. There is no routine testing of asymptomatic contacts; however, asymptomatic testing is considered in high risk settings—that is, a setting where there is evidence of a risk for rapid spread and ongoing chains of infection. Asymptomatic testing has been offered for a limited period as part of the DETECT snapshot program. The cohorts included in this program were selected mainly for their involvement with vulnerable communities, frequent intersection with the public during COVID-19, or where documented outbreaks have occurred in other jurisdictions.