Sonic Healthcare partners with Australian Government to provide COVID-19 testing in aged care facilities and to expand COVID-19 testing capacity

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Sonic Healthcare (ASX: SHL; ADR: SKHHY) has been awarded the Australian Government contract to provide a dedicated pathology service for rapid sample collection and testing for COVID-19 in residential aged care facilities.

This contract reflects the Government’s recognition that the health and safety of senior Australians is a national priority during the current pandemic. Nearly 2,700 residential aged care facilities across the country are eligible for this service, which will be provided through Sonic’s national network of laboratories and collection teams.

Sonic Healthcare has been at the forefront of COVID-19 testing since the beginning of the pandemic in Australia. Sonic's laboratories in New South Wales and Queensland were the first to perform high volume COVID-19 testing in the crucial early stages of the pandemic. Over the last two months, Sonic’s laboratories have collectively tested more than 100,000 Australians for COVID-19.

In addition, Sonic Healthcare has recently entered into a partnership with the Australian Government and the Minderoo Foundation to greatly increase COVID-19 testing capacity across Australia.

The collaboration with the Federal Government and Minderoo involves the provision of additional testing platforms and reagents, and will enable state governments, doctors, and the community to significantly increase the rate of COVID-19 testing, including testing in aged care facilities. These additional testing platforms are being rolled out across all Australian states and will stand alongside Sonic’s existing high-quality testing equipment to create an immediate and significant expansion of testing capacity.

Dr Colin Goldschmidt, Chief Executive Officer, Sonic Healthcare, said:

“We are proud to provide rapid COVID-19 collection and testing services to Australian aged care facilities. It is a tribute to the Government to focus special attention on these facilities and we are honoured to work with Government to provide our services to safeguard the health of older Australians and the tremendous staff who support them.

“The partnership with Government and the Minderoo Foundation will consolidate the important role we have already played in identifying positive cases of COVID-19 and will allow us to further support Australia’s flattening of the curve.

“Sonic’s Australian laboratory practices have performed almost 20 per cent of all COVID-19 tests in Australia. Widespread testing in the early stages of the pandemic has worked to control the spread of COVID-19 and is a key factor in Australia's world-leading position in percentage of positive cases identified.

“A further expansion of testing capacity will consolidate Australia’s position, providing immediate and longterm benefits to the entire nation.”

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Sonic Healthcare operates the following Australian pathology laboratories:

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