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Midland hospital COVID Clinic nurses and staff, Sandra Howell, Morgan Gray, Harinet Gebreselassie, Innocent Iwanyanwu and clinic area manager Sue Howlett.

COVID clinic marks one year

Claire Ottaviano

IT may be hard to believe, but it has been one whole year since the first COVID-19 clinic opened in Midland.

Yesterday, March 25, St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals celebrated the first anniversary of its COVID-19 Clinic.

Hospital chief executive Michael Hogan said the clinic had undertaken more than 33,600 swabs in the past 12 months.

“When we first established the clinic, we had no idea how long it would remain open.

“We just knew that it was important we rapidly opened the clinic to assist the community and help manage the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The clinic’s busiest day was February 1, 2021, the first day of Perth’s second lockdown, when 1163 swabs were taken.

The hospital is now operating both a COVID Clinic as well as a COVID Vaccination Clinic, opened on March 8 this year, available only for frontline and emergency workers.

Clinic nurse Sandra Howell said at first, staff were a little bit apprehensive about what they might be about to face.

“There was heightened community anxiety at the time and we needed to be able to inform and support these people with compassion as they presented to the clinic,” she said.

“We initially had concerns for our families and if we might be a risk to them and others.

“However, we felt as health professionals that we could make a difference.”

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the hospital has treated six COVID-19 positive patients, including three passengers from the Artania cruise ship.

All positive patients were believed to have been infected while travelling overseas and have since recovered.

“Being part of history, being useful to the community and supporting the hospital through an unknown pandemic response has been an amazing professional experience for all the COVID Clinic team,” Ms Howell said.

“Everyone, including nurses, cleaners, clerks and security, all work together as one team, acknowledging and respecting each other’s skills, experiences and contributions.

“We also recently received the hospital’s Going Beyond Together Team Award, in recognition of the team’s work over the past year.”

For more COVID-19 information visit www.sjog.org.au/midland

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