Long queues outside a COVID testing clinic in Bunbury crossed in front of the entrance to a cancer-treatment unit last week as record numbers of people lined up to get tested as the number of COVID cases in the South West grew. But the Health Department said there was no need for concern about the oncology patients because the oncology unit was closed at the time and the department has since implemented measures to mitigate any crossover of the queue on days when the unit is open. Bunbury Hospital’s COVID testing clinic had its busiest testing day of the week on January 26, with more than 300 people tested. People stretched out from the clinic into two queues, one in a purport-built gazebo tent in front of the clinic, another stretching the length of an undercover walkway leading to the entrance of the GenesisCare oncology treatment unit. The unit provides various radiation treatments for cancer patients. According to the HealthyWA website, people with compromised immune systems or pre-existing medical conditions, including cancer, may be at increased risk of contracting coronavirus and increased risk of more severe infection. The long queues that day were prompted by WA Health announcing 13 workers at Albemarle’s lithium refinery in Kemerton had tested positive to COVID-19, taking the total number of the Greater Bunbury cluster to 17. The cluster — which now numbers at least 20 — is expected to grow in the coming days, with more locations being added to the list of exposure sites across WA each day. A Department of Health spokesperson said the long queues showed that South West were residents doing the right thing by getting tested. “The images (below) were taken on Australia Day, which as a public holiday, was a day the oncology unit was closed,” the spokesperson said. “On days when the oncology unit is open for appointments, bollards, bunting and mitigation strategies are in place to ensure the lines for testing do not cross over the entrance to oncology.” The spokesperson thanked South West resident for following the public health advice. “(The images show) People were wearing masks and were physically distanced, again demonstrating that Western Australians are doing the right thing,” the spokesperson said. Anyone who has been to the Perth, Peel, Wheatbelt and the South West regions — especially in the greater Bunbury area — who is experiencing symptoms is encouraged to get tested immediately and isolate until they receive a negative result. This applies to anyone symptomatic — even if they have not been to an exposure site.