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COVID-19 information for locals

Protect yourself against COVID-19

We all have a role to play to protect ourselves, our families and our community from getting COVID-19.

You can do the right thing by:

  • Staying home if you are sick
  • Getting tested if you have even mild COVID-19 symptoms—and then staying home until you receive a negative result.
  • Staying 1.5 metres away from other people—think two big steps
  • Washing your hands often, using soap and water or hand sanitiser
  • Sneezing or coughing into your arm or a tissue. Then put the tissue in the bin
  • Wearing a face mask when you are not able to keep 1.5 metres away from other people, or whenever mandatory face masks are required
  • Getting vaccinated
  • Using the Check In app at required locations.

What can I do to protect myself?

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service encourages residents to consider impacts of COVID-19.

How can I support my community?

It is important that we do the right thing to protect ourselves, our families and our communities in an outbreak.

The key steps you can take to support your community in an outbreak are ones you can take before an outbreak even occurs:

  • Get the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Get tested if you feel sick
  • Maintain hand hygiene and social distancing measures.

If you know someone who gets COVID-19 please remember that this is no one’s fault, and continue to do the right thing by following public health advice.

Staying in touch with your family, friends and your community is important. Some ways you can do this are:

  • calling people for a yarn on the phone
  • talking about the community and checking if they are OK
  • talking about the virus and how to stop the spread
  • connecting with family and friends on social media.

How is Torres and Cape HHS managing COVID-19?

Torres and Cape HHS facilities are managing outbreaks of COVID-19 that are occurring in the region. Testing and vaccinations are available in every community and most positive are receiving virtual care in the home

Any COVID-19 patients who become sick will be transferred to a higher-level facility to receive the best possible levels of care, but no one will be forced to leave their community.

Vaccination remains the best form of defence against COVID-19.

Get a COVID-19 test

COVID-19 tests are free for tourists, visitors and residents at each of our local health facilities.

Please call ahead if possible, and follow directions to testing clinics at our facilities to reduce the spread of the virus.

Find a testing site in your community

I have COVID-19 symptoms

If you have even the mildest COVID-19 symptoms, it is important to get tested immediately. Getting tested will help us find any cases in the community as quickly as possible so we can keep each other safe.

You still need to get tested if you are fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhoea
  • Blocked or runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • A rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes
  • Red or irritated eyes

I’m a close contact of someone with COVID-19

If you are identified as a close contact you do not need to isolate unless you develop symptoms.

Close contact

  • You may leave your home if you have no symptoms
  • You must do a RAT test on day 0, day 2, day 4 and day 6
  • You must wear a mask for 7 days
  • You must not attend a vulnerable setting including hospitals or PHCCs unless you are seeking medical treatment
  • You must inform your employer before attending work
  • If you develop symptoms get tested and stay home until you are well
  • See current isolation and testing requirements for close contacts.

FAQs

Recently there have been changes to a number of health directions.  Here are answers to common questions that have been asked.

If I have had COVID-19 do I need to get tested again?

No. The period for a diagnosed person to be a cleared case after their isolation period ends has increased from 4 weeks to 12 weeks.  This means you do not need to test again for COVID-19, even if you have symptoms until after 12 weeks have passed since you were originally diagnosed.  If you do have symptoms during this period, as with all illnesses, please stay home until you are symptom free.

If it is over 12 weeks since you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you will need to have a test if you get symptoms.  This should be done by PCR test rather than a RAT test.

Do I still need a vaccination if I get COVID-19?

Yes. If you have had COVID-19 you should wait to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine for 3 months after the confirmed infection.

This is to optimise your vaccine protection. A longer gap between infection and vaccination is likely to lead to a better immune response and result in longer protection from reinfection.

The next scheduled dose of COVID-19 vaccine should be given as soon as possible after 3 months. You should still have all the recommended doses.

Do I still need to wear a mask?

Yes. Mask wearing is still required in some places:

  • For 7 days after having COVID-19 when leaving the house
  • For 7 days while you are a close contact when leaving the house
  • In hospitals, PHCCs, residential aged care, disability accommodation, prisons or detention centres
  • On public transport
  • In airports or on planes
  • Awaiting a PCR test

Rapid Antigen Test – what do I do if it’s positive

Rapid Antigen Test

If you test positive for COVID-19 please call Torres and Cape HHS Public Health on 0438 755 738 or your local health centre

Get the COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination remains the best defence against COVID-19.

Visit the vaccination rollout web page for the latest information and schedule of clinics within our region.

Restrictions and directions

COVID-19 check in

Check in is no longer required for any business or facility in Qld, including healthcare facilities

Visiting / entry restrictions

If you are not vaccinated and aged 16+ you are not permitted to enter as a visitor to hospitals, primary health care centres aged care and disability services.

Unvaccinated people may still attend health facilities for:

  • medical treatment
  • end-of-life visits
  • childbirth (including support person)
  • emergencies (including carers)
  • parents or guardians supporting a child requiring care

All visitors to our health facilities are required to wear a mask.

Emergency Department

A single visitor is permitted if they are either the parent or guardian of a dependent child or a support person for a patient requiring significant assistance (physical, verbal, cultural support).

Neonatal Intensive Care

Unrestricted access for a maximum of two parents or carers.

Siblings may be granted access on compassionate grounds.

Paediatric Unit

Unrestricted access for a maximum of two parents or carers.

Pregnancy and Birth

  • Antenatal clinics: women are requested to attend appointments on their own. In exceptional circumstances, one support person may be allowed, but permission must be sought by phoning the clinic before arriving for the appointment.
  • Birthing suites: only two support people, including the partner, are allowed in the birthing suite.
  • Postnatal wards: After birth, no more than two visitors are permitted at any one time. The two visitors may be an adult and a child of any age.

Operating Theatre and Recovery Room

Visitors not routinely allowed, however parents may visit children post-surgery.

Acute Medical Unit or Intensive Care Unit

Two support people permitted.

In all the above circumstances, no person will be denied access to care or treatment based on their vaccination status. Anyone making healthcare decisions for a patient, for example a parent or carer, will also be permitted to accompany the patient regardless of vaccination status.

Refer to the complete Hospital Entry Direction | Queensland Health effective from 12 March 2022.

Last updated: 4 May 2022