Free Rapid Antigen Tests available for vulnerable community members

Published on 03 January 2023

Photo of Rapid Antigen Tests with hand in blue medical glove overlaid with text reading 'Free Rapid Antigen Tests available for vulnerable community members'

From Tuesday 3 January, eligible community members within Baw Baw Shire will be able to collect free Rapid Antigen Tests from the Drouin Customer Service Centre, located at 33 Young Street, Drouin.

The Department of Health (DH) is expanding its Community COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) Program with Councils to make RATs free and available for priority and high-risk community members.

The expanded program has provided funding to Council to distribute five tests (1 kit) to eligible community members, including:

  • People aged 70 years or older
  • People with disability*, immunocompromised people (self-declared) or their carer
  • Concession card holders, including: 
    • Victorian Seniors card
    • Pensioner Concession card
    • Commonwealth Senior Health Care card
    • Health Care card 
    • Low Income Health Care card
    • Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold, White or Orange cards.

*People with disability or their carer can receive 20 tests (4 kits), in line with eligibility criteria, including: 

  • NDIS participants
  • Disability support pensioners
  • People with a disability who receive a Transport Accident Commission benefit. 

As funded by the Victorian Government, Council has been provided $30,000 to deliver the expanded program until 31 July 2023.

Community members who may be experiencing symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, are strongly advised to reach out to a guardian or carer to collect a free RAT kit on their behalf to protect those around them.

For more information about getting tested and reporting a positive RAT result, visit the Department of Health website or alternatively you can call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 675 398.

Quote attributable to Mayor Annemarie McCabe

“Working throughout the pandemic, I have seen firsthand the impacts Covid-19 has on vulnerable members within our community as well as the strain it puts on our healthcare services.

Baw Baw Shire Council welcomes the opportunity to take part in the local council distribution program to greater support our community throughout the festive season and into the new year.” 

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