Residents are being urged to not attend Albury Wodonga Health looking for RATs and refrain from prematurely seeking contact from the COVID clinic.
AWH executive director of public health Lucie Shanahan asked that people not come to the emergency department to access either PCR or rapid antigen testing.
"I think word is out in the community that on occasion when attending the hospital we are undertaking rapid antigen tests - for people who are having surgery, for example," she said.
"We don't have kits available to give out to the general public - we know that both state governments are working on a strategy for this.
"But we do ask people not to come to the ED for that reason; we need to keep the ED clear."
Ms Shanahan also urged COVID-positive residents to give the COVID-positive pathways clinic time to contact them.
The clinic is now working with people who have uploaded their positive RAT result to the Department of Health website, which is now mandated.
"There's not much use in people phoning Albury or Wodonga hospitals, seeking clinical advice - the team will be in touch with people once the test result has been confirmed and uploaded into the system and the person is referred through to our COVID Positive pathways team," Ms Shanahan said.
"We know sometimes it's not happening as quickly as people would like; we are still seeing a delay in our PCR test turn-around time, so sometimes it will be a few days between the test and the team getting in touch with people."
Ms Shanahan said AWH is still doing 400 to 450 PCR tests each day and like all industries, has staff unavailable to work.
"It's certainly putting a strain on those staff who are able to come to work but we haven't reached a point at this stage where we need to close any particular services because of staffing as a result of COVID," she said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
The Victorian government has announced more essential workers who are close contacts will receive an exemption from home isolation requirements to attend their workplace, subject to conditions including returning a negative RAT each day.
AWH is awaiting details on the new exemptions, which are being extended to emergency services, education, critical utilities, custodial facilities, transport and freight.
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