But many of those who have tested positive did not self-isolate while waiting for their results, Bendigo Health has warned. Staff urged anyone tested to self-isolate, and physically distance from family.
Bendigo Health chief executive Peter Faulkner said it was good to see so many people taking the time to get tested, when asked about the strong community response.
For those cases that are positive that we test, we contact trace those tests. ... In most instances they have to many, many places.Peter Faulkner
About 11am on Thursday the line for Bendigo's drive through testing clinic stretched several hundred metres from Mercy Street to the Faith Leech Aquatic Centre.
Bendigo Health staff, with the help of the Australian Defence Force, tested 645 people at the city's two test sites on Thursday - an estimated test every 42 seconds.
Mr Faulkner asked those with even the mildest symptoms to get the swab.
But Mr Faulkner urged people to self-isolate once they had been tested, saying many people were not.
"Go home, self isolate, wait for your result," he said.
"Do not go shopping, do not visit friends or family or others. Go straight home and self-isolate.
"For those cases that are positive that we test, we contact trace those tests ... In most instances they have to many, many places.
"Often people have been out and about when they have symptoms. This is just not the right thing to do, it's not the right thing for you, it's not the right thing for your family, and it's not the right thing for your families."
Mr Faulkner also urged people waiting on test results to maintain a physical distance from their family.
Mr Faulkner said urged people to be kind and respect others while they waited for testing at the Bendigo Health drive through clinic.
Queues stretched several hundred metres on Thursday morning, on Friday and Saturday wait times could be several hours.
"We understand that many people present to our testing clinics. We also understand that at times there are long waits for testing. The wait is worth it," Mr Faulkner said.
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