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Queensland novel coronavirus (COVID-19) update

8 April 2020

Queensland has 9 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) raising the state total to 943.

HHS* Total confirmed cases to date
Cairns and Hinterland 32
Central Queensland 8
Central West 0
Darling Downs 41
Gold Coast 178
Mackay 13
Metro North 286
Metro South 218
North West 0
South West 0
Sunshine Coast 85
Torres and Cape 0
Townsville 23
West Moreton 37
Wide Bay 22
Overseas 0
Total 943**

* HHS level case data may include a patient’s residential address, Public Health Unit managing or location where test was ordered.

** Changes may occur in the number of notifications reported from day to day. This is due to ongoing maintenance and update of notification details as new information becomes available, or where discrepancies are detected through data quality assurance activities.

Contact tracing is underway for the 9 new cases. Queensland Health will notify the community if any other public health alerts are required.

We want to remind Queenslanders that our hospitals remain open for emergency care.

Our priority is and always will be saving lives - we want every Queenslander to know that if you need emergency care our Emergency Department doors are always open to you.

Among the Queensland cases is an infectious diseases nurse from the Princess Alexandra Hospital, who is currently resting in isolation after contracting novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The nurse was working in the infectious diseases Unit with COVID-19 patients and then reported feeling unwell.

The nurse has followed all procedures including staying home as soon as symptoms emerged immediately notifying superiors to help protect colleagues and close contacts.

Metro South Public Health unit has determined six other staff members who came in contact with the nurse will now self -isolate for the required 14 days.

Most of the other cases are from patients who have travelled overseas, or have had direct contact with a confirmed case who had travelled overseas.

The number of confirmed cases we see each day is expected to vary as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 situation across the state.

Queensland Health has decided to pause, delay or discontinue some projects to allow for the further re-deployment of staff to assist with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

Queensland Health Director General Dr John Wakefield said the global pandemic is being felt on an unprecedented global scale and is forcing health administrators all over the world to rethink the way organisations are resourced and staffed.

“Maintaining the health and wellbeing of our workforce, including relieving the pressure of staff having to continue non-critical business as usual activities, is critical to the way we respond to this crisis,” Dr Wakefield said.

“A large part of our workforce is dedicated to the COVD-19 response and while planning is becoming more robust every day, more can be done.”

Queensland Health has changed the scope of some projects to free up resources. This will include the pausing the Queensland Health Climate Change Strategy, delaying the Rapid Results Program, pausing work on the Medicines and Poisons Framework and discontinuing the Laboratory Information System Project to ensure pathology services are not disrupted during the outbreak.

This is in addition to implementing the national decisions to limit non-urgent elective surgery and National, State-wide and QAS Performance Testing.

“More programs may need to be suspended as we scale up our efforts to fight the pandemic.

“We need to make difficult decisions to ensure our workforce is kept safe and in the best position possible to help fellow Queenslanders.”

We want everyone to know they can play their part to protect themselves and the more vulnerable in our community. Please follow the recommended advice from us and our federal counterparts in regards to social distancing, public gatherings and general wellbeing.

Critically, make sure you are practicing good hygiene and staying home, especially  if you’re sick. Washing your hands properly and often is the gold standard of health advice that can help prevent viruses from entering your body.

A person is eligible for testing if they have a fever (or history of fever) or acute respiratory symptoms, and, in the last 14 days:

  • they were a close contact or a household contact of a confirmed case
  • they had been overseas, including on a cruise.

Testing is also possible for people who have a fever (or history of fever) or acute respiratory symptoms, AND:

  • work in vulnerable settings such as healthcare, aged or residential care, military, correction facilities, detention centres and boarding schools.
  • live in Brisbane, Gold Coast or Cairns (Brisbane includes the Metro North and Metro South Hospital and Health Services)
  • live in a First Nations community.

Queensland Health is urging anyone who meets this criteria for testing, to contact a doctor immediately.

Before your appointment, please call ahead and advise of your symptoms and recent travel they can prepare for your visit.

The most up-to-date reliable information on COVID-19 in Queensland is available on the Queensland Health website at www.health.qld.gov.au/coronavirus

Hospitals are ready

Our hospitals are open - We encourage you to share this graphic on your social pages to get the important message out to Queenslanders.

Last updated: 8 April 2020