The NSW Government will provide free Rapid Antigen Tests to community members who may have difficulty accessing them. They are expand the existing program to include those accessing tests through the Federal Government’s Concessional Access Program, which is due to finish at the end of the month.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the NSW Government is committed to making sure no one is left behind and ensuring communities who need to access them, have the support they need through winter.
“We are making sure those people who need it most get the help they need to help keep themselves and the community safe through winter by stepping in and providing free Rapid Antigen Tests,” Mr Perrottet said.
Minister for Multiculturalism and Minister for Seniors Mark Coure said the expanded program would allow eligible Commonwealth Concession Card holders in NSW to access 10 Rapid Antigen Tests over three months up until 31 October 2022.
“The NSW Government has already been distributing free Rapid Antigen Tests to vulnerable communities, and we have the capacity to extend this to those still needing them through the Federal Government’s program,” Mr Coure said.
“There is no need to rush or panic about whether or not you will be able to access tests—we have enough tests to support you.”
The NSW Government has already made Rapid Antigen Tests available to meet the needs of community members across Coffs Harbour, including multicultural communities, people with disability and their carers, homelessness services, social housing tenants, and children and young people in out-of-home care, through services such as Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre.
“A key role of Neighbourhood Centres is ensuring each of our community members, has support and can make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing. We are proud to be able to support distribution of Free RAT tests to those who may not otherwise have access. We are aware many local families have been impacted by rising costs of living. Ensuring people can make healthy choice the easiest choice without added cost barriers it a huge benefit.” Said Di Woods from Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre.
Tests will be available through Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood concurrently with Ozharvest fresh food support 10-11am Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fridays.
Minister for Families and Communities and Minister for Disability Services Natasha Maclaren-Jones said the decision to expand the program, is about keeping people safe.
If you are at a higher risk of severe illness, plan ahead. Speak to your doctor now about antiviral or other early treatment for COVID-19, so you understand your options if you test positive. If you are not at higher risk of severe illness, do a rapid antigen test unless you have arrived from overseas and have COVID-19 symptoms or your doctor tells you to have a PCR test.