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Central West COVID update - 14 April 2022

Thursday 14 April 2022

News_COVID-19 Update

The following statement may be attributed to Central West Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Mr Christopher Sullivan.

Six new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Central West over the past 24 hours.

Allowing for cases discharged after completing isolation, the total number of active cases currently in the region is 31.

There is currently one case being managed in hospital, with the remainder receiving care in the Virtual Ward.

We are also aware of some cases across the region who have opted out of receiving healthcare as they are COVID-well or self-managing their symptoms.

No further details will be provided due to confidentiality.

To date, accounting for those who have been discharged from quarantine, the Central West HHS has recorded 505 cases of COVID-19 since the first case on 22 December.

A patient who tested positive in Alpha yesterday (13 April) became Central West’s 500th case.

People planning to travel over the Easter long weekend need to take appropriate precautions.

Whether you are a local going away or a tourist to the Central West region, you must ensure you are fully prepared for a potential positive COVID-19 result in your group before you leave, including having enough provisions and knowing where your destination’s health facilities are.

If you have any symptoms, no matter how mild:

  • do not continue travelling – get tested and wait for the result.
  • contact the nearest health facility to your current location to arrange a free test or phone 134 COVID for advice on what you should do.
  • if you are positive, adhere to health advice. It is essential that you immediately isolate for 7 full days. Do not keep travelling and risk increased community transmission.
  • if you test positive with a RAT, you must (1) register your positive result at https://www.qld.gov.au/rat-positive/rapid-antigen-test-registrationit, and (2) go through the symptoms checker https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/stay-informed/covid-care-self-checker
  • you may be able complete your isolation at your home if it is within safe travelling distance, but you must apply for an exemption.

Vaccination remains our best protection both against the COVID virus and the influenza virus, as we move into this year’s flu season.

Talk to your GP about the influenza vaccine.

We encourage people to maintain good hygiene practices such as washing hands properly and often or using an alcohol-based sanitiser, staying at home when they are sick, and coughing or sneezing into their elbow.

Masks are now no longer mandatory indoors except in high-risk and vulnerable settings.

These include hospitals, primary health centres, vaccination clinics and all other healthcare settings such as GPs, physiotherapists, dentists and pharmacies, residential aged care, disability accommodation, prisons, public transport, airports and on planes.

However, we encourage Central West residents to wear a mask in non-mandatory settings if they cannot socially distance.

Please also continue to get tested if you have symptoms, no matter how mild.

Testing helps us quickly find as many cases in the community as possible and reduce the spread of COVID-19, so please come and be tested if you have any symptoms.

Symptoms include: Fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea or lack of taste or smell.

Our latest data shows that 94.5 per cent of eligible Central West residents aged 12 years and older are now fully vaccinated with two doses of vaccine.

The rate of vaccination amongst our First Nations residents also is very high with 86.3 per cent of those aged 12 years and older having received two doses.

We are also delivering vaccinations for children aged 5-11 years and have, to date, vaccinated about 48.4 per cent of children in that age group in the Central West with their first dose.

We would like to see more children being vaccinated, so please come along to one of our clinics.

The child vaccine is being delivered in two doses about eight weeks apart so it’s vital you bring your child in for that second dose to ensure they are fully protected – but not before the eight-week period is over.

Everyone aged 5 years and over can get vaccinated at:

  • Alpha Town Hall – 14 April
  • Longreach Civic & Cultural Centre – 19 April
  • Barcaldine Town Hall – 20 April
  • Longreach State School – 21 April
  • Longreach (at the Iningai Health Arcade) – 22 April
  • Aramac Primary Health Centre – 26 April
  • Tambo Primary Health Centre – 27 April
  • Barcaldine P-12 State School – 28 April

Both the Blackall and the Winton general practices are also providing COVID-19 vaccinations.

  • Phone the Blackall General Practice on 4657 8200 during business hours to discuss your nurse-led vaccination appointment.
  • Phone the Winton Medical Practice on 4657 2755 during business hours to book.

For other clinics, bookings are essential, please phone 1800 953 703, or email: CW-COVAX@health.qld.gov.au

Flu vaccinations are not available at Central West Hospital and Health Service COVID-19 vaccinations clinics at shire halls and Primary Health Centres.

Please contact your local GP or pharmacy for information about the flu vaccination, and available appointments.

COVID-19 restrictions have eased further, with the vaccine requirement to be removed from venues including: pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants; theme parks, casinos and cinemas; weddings; showgrounds; and galleries, libraries, museums and stadiums.

The vaccine requirement still apply to vulnerable settings including: hospitals (for visitors, staff, contractors, and volunteers); aged and disability care; and prisons; schools and early childhood centres.

Please note that anyone who requires health care can attend a hospital or health centre, regardless of their vaccination status.

Testing is available for free at all our facilities in the Central West through a combination of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, depending on individual requirements.

You must quarantine until you have received your test result. If you test positive, our staff will provide information on isolating and next steps.

Most people who are fully vaccinated will be able to care for themselves at home, like you would for other viruses.

If you’re unsure what kind of care you may need, use the COVID care self-checker. Visit:

  • https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/stay-informed/covid-care-self-checker

The self-checker is a clinical self-assessment tool designed to help you understand what healthcare you may need based on your symptoms and other risk factors.

We are aware that some Central West residents may not be reporting positive results from Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) if they are administered at home.

It is vital we know who has tested positive so they can isolate and be managed appropriately to minimise their risk of transmitting the virus to others and so people receive the care they need.

So please, if you have done a home RAT test, please register the result at: https://www.qld.gov.au/rat-positive

  • National Coronavirus Hotline: 1800 020 080
  • There is also a raft of useful information on the Queensland Health website. https://www.health.qld.gov.au/

ENDS

For further information contact:

James Guthrie
Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld
Media and Communication
Department of Health
(07) 3708 5379

Jim.Guthrie@health.qld.gov.au

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Last updated: 19 April 2022