Live: COVID testing pressure grows as some Sydney and Brisbane sites close without explanation

Testing sites in Sydney and Brisbane close, adding to the pressure on those that are open.

Additionally, millions of Australians become eligible for COVID-19 booster shots and Omicron cases continue to rise across the country.

Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak

Follow today's events as they happen in our live blog.

Log in to comment

To leave a comment on the blog, please log in or sign up for an ABC account.

Live updates

By Simon Smale

PinnedCOVID numbers around the states

If your state is not listed yet, it's because we haven't been given that information.

  • NSW
  • Victoria
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • ACT
  • Tasmania
  • Northern Territory
  • Western Australia

Share post

1m ago1 minutes agoMon 3 Jan 2022 at 9:33pm

By Simon Smale

Sydney testing clinics update

We'll try and keep this updated throughout the day, but we can tell you that a private pathology company which temporarily closed dozens of COVID-19 testing sites in Sydney yesterday, has reopened four drive-through clinics. 

Australian Clinical Labs reopened its Castle Hill and Parramatta drive-through sites today, as well as Charlestown in Newcastle with Bella Vista open to international travel testing only.

It comes after it announced 28 of its 29 drive-through and walk-in testing sites would close effective immediately, due to overwhelming demand. 

More than 900,000 people came forward for testing across the state in a week.

Reporting with ABC Radio

Share post

3m ago3 minutes agoMon 3 Jan 2022 at 9:31pm

By Simon Smale

We found yesterday's blog

Thank you everyone, and to my colleagues in the office, for directing me to some of Dannielle Maguire's best work.

Share post

6m ago6 minutes agoMon 3 Jan 2022 at 9:28pm

By Simon Smale

Welcome back everyoneSo glad the blog is back! The update just wasn't the same. Hope you have a fun week off 🙂


Hi Simon! Happy New Year!

-Teresa HGood Morning Simon (my fav). Am I the first in 2022?

Fingers crossed for today's numbers.

-TanuGreat to see the team back on the live blog. You've been missed!

-Hooray!🙋‍♀️ Good Morning Simon

-Mrs Mort

Thank you so much to all the ABC Blog Staff, they have worked so hard during 2021 and provided a trusted source of news about the COVID pandemic around Australia so I can keep up to date about restrictions for family in other states and here in the ACT. Thank you so much for keeping us safe! And thank you for the GIFS. Happy 2022!

-LeeShare post

9m ago9 minutes agoMon 3 Jan 2022 at 9:25pm

By Simon Smale

Yesterday's COVID updates storyLink to yesterday’s blogs please?

-SydneysiderIs it the first COVID blog of 2022? I thought there was one yesterday!

-Deus ex machina

I cannot find yesterday's blog, despite being assured it did happen, so here's the updates story for you to chew over.

Share post

17m ago17 minutes agoMon 3 Jan 2022 at 9:17pm

By Simon Smale

Technical problem causes delays to vaccine bookings for children in Victoria

A technical problem has delayed COVID-19 vaccination bookings for children at Victoria’s state-run vaccination hubs.

The booking website was supposed to open this morning to facilitate appointments for five to 11 year-olds, but the health department says there is a problem with the system.

The department says Microsoft is working on a solution, and that online and hotline bookings will be available later this week.

The roll out of the vaccine for children aged five to eleven is due to begin on January 10.

Yesterday, the Victorian government said it was aiming to deliver 300,000 doses a week over January as more people become eligible for their boosters shots, and the child vaccination program got underway.

Six state-run vaccination centres that were due to close will now be kept open, and 28 pop-up booster clinics will open from tomorrow.

Reporting by Tim Callanan.

Share post

19m ago19 minutes agoMon 3 Jan 2022 at 9:15pm

By Simon Smale

Booster vaccine supply 'absolutely is not a problem': John FrewenABC News

John Frewen, coordinator general of the national COVID vaccine task force, has been speaking on ABC News Breakfast.

He said that, as of yesterday, a little over 2.5 million Australians have come forward to have their boosters already, which represents about 60 per cent of those eligible at that stage.

Mr Frewen said vaccine supply "absolutely is not a problem" but the distribution still needs some work.

"We have more vaccines than people who are eligible in the country right now. We are working to get those vaccines distributed as quickly as we can. But there are ample vaccines out and about.

"In some areas, demand has been higher than others. Sometimes that demand has exceeded what particular pharmacies and GPs might have ordered but we are working to also help provide additional emergency deliveries, if necessary."

Mr Frewen said that the "vast majority" have managed to get a booking and although there would be a "big ramp up", there were still plenty of options, including pharmacies and state clinics coming back online.

"I think there's lots of good options and I think people should be able to get their boosters pretty quickly."

Share post

32m ago32 minutes agoMon 3 Jan 2022 at 9:02pm

By Simon Smale

Nearly four million Australians eligible for booster shots

Millions more Australians are now eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot from today, after the time frame between second and third doses was reduced to four months.

The Federal Government announced a reduction in the interval for boosters from five months last month, with the time frame set to shorten again to three months at the end of January. 

The Australian Technical Advisory Group says booster shots are likely to increase protection against infection with the Omicron variant.

Share post

34m ago34 minutes agoMon 3 Jan 2022 at 9:00pm

By Simon Smale

Testing sites close without warning in Sydney, Brisbane

More than two dozen covid testing sites across Sydney have suddenly closed without explanation.

The sites are operated by Australian Clinical Labs.

The company says it has closed – effectively immediately – 28 of its 29 drive-through and walk-in testing sites in Sydney, but offered no reason.

The ABC has contacted the company and NSW Health for comment.

Meanwhile, in Brisbane, COVAX-managed clinics at QUT Kelvin Grove and UQ have been removed from the directory of testing locations.

Share post

42m ago42 minutes agoMon 3 Jan 2022 at 8:52pm

By Simon Smale

COVID live updates: Tuesday January 4

Good morning and welcome to the second COVID blog of 2022.

My name is Simon Smale and I'm back, again, to help guide you through all the coronavirus-related news from across the country and beyond as the pandemic passes into yet another year.

Got a question? I'm sure you know all this already but just jump on the big blue button and I'll do my best to ask someone with more knowledge than me to answer for you.

Remember, you'll need to log in to comment.

OK, let's go.

Share post


Recent Posts