A SECTION of the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre may be adopted for coronavirus patients in a worst-case scenario.
Oncologist Craig Underhill said that talks between the centre and Albury Wodonga Health, which runs the adjoining public hospital, had been held.
"There's been discussions about using part of the cancer centre if we went to a catastrophic situation," Dr Underhill said.
"There's been ongoing discussions about what if we were clearly in a catastrophic situation, we may need to utlilise beds in the cancer centre and move cancer beds off-site."
Dr Underhill declined to answer questions about further details, referring The Border Mail to Albury Wodonga Health.
IN OTHER NEWS
In a statement, hospital chief Michael Kalimnios indicated the use of the cancer centre was an option, but a final decision would require feedback from specialists.
"Albury Wodonga Health is considering all clinically appropriate options for the care of COVID and suspected COVID patients," Mr Kalimnios said.
"Our most important priority is to keep our staff and patients safe.
"Any decision made will be based on this priority and include advice from key clinicians and infectious diseases specialists."
Meanwhile, more people are now able to be tested at Albury Wodonga Health's drive-through clinic in Wodonga.
Police officers, teachers, childcare workers and anyone over the age of 65, who have COVID-19 symptoms, now qualify for screening according to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
Signs of the virus include a fever, shortness of breath, a cough and sore throat.
Albury Wodonga Health pandemic chief Sally Squire said: "If you have these symptoms and you are in these categories please call your GP or (02) 6058 4444 to arrange an appointment for testing.
"We are asking people not to present at an emergency department if they suspect they meet the criteria or have signs or symptoms of COVID-19 without calling this number first despite advice from some COVID-19 hotline numbers."
Albury Wodonga Health has two in-patients receiving treatment for coronavirus, while seven people diagnosed are being monitored as they isolate at home.
North East Victorian councils, like their Riverina counterparts, recorded no new COVID-19 matters on Monday.
Mrs Squire has welcomed that news, but warned it "is no reason for complacency".
"People must continue to stay at home within the government guidelines; they must practice social distancing; and they must wash their hands regularly," she said.
"These initiatives will continue to support containment of COVID-19."
The drive-through clinic in Wodonga has tested 756, with ten positives, following 2262 phone calls to Albury Wodonga Health.
Our COVID-19 news articles relating to public health and safety are free for anyone to access. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.