As COVID-19 cases and venues of concern are on the rise in the Manning and Great Lakes, so is the need for testing. And that means staff at Manning Base Hospital's COVID testing clinic are understandably very busy.
Many people are voicing their frustrations over not being able to get through on the phone to make an appointment at the drive through testing facility, with one person saying they had tried 89 times in one day, and another saying they had tried for three days before getting through to make an appointment.
However, some people have reported no problems with getting an appointment, and it appears that it may depend on what time of day you are calling. A spokesperson from Hunter New England Health advised that people should try ringing later in the afternoon, when the volume of calls has typically reduced.
"There are two phone lines that are staffed during the clinic operating hours and additional staff are rostered to assist with calls during peak periods," the spokesperson said.
"In the instance that the lines are busy, callers are able to leave a voice mail and staff aim to respond to the message the same day.
"We apologise if people experience delays when booking an appointment. We ask that people are patient and try again."
The testing clinic operates seven days per week and is open from 8am to 4.30pm. When required, operating hours are extended to meet demand.
To ensure traffic flow onsite, bookings are essential and can be made by calling 6592 9850.
"Various private providers are also offering testing services in Taree and Forster, and we thank them for their commitment to keeping the local community safe. A full list of testing clinics is available via the NSW Government website," the spokesperson said.
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