Fourth recorded case in CW

Remember to get tested if you have flu-like symptoms.

A Blackall resident has been noted as the Central West community’s fourth case of COVID-19.

Central West Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Anthony West said the case was not connected to the previous Blackall case reported on Wednesday.

“The new case involves a visiting doctor from the Brisbane region delivering services at the Blackall Hospital and Blackall General Practice,” he said.

“The doctor learned he was a close contact of a confirmed case in Brisbane and immediately went to his Blackall private accommodation to isolate and get tested – the test subsequently returned positive.

“There were no close contacts, either amongst staff or patients, and all safety procedures, including full mask-wearing and personal protective equipment were in use throughout the hospital and general practice.”

Both Blackall Hospital and Blackall General Practice are able to continue delivering services unchanged.

Mr West said there are now three active cases in the Central West, two at Blackall and one at Longreach, all being managed at their home or private accommodation.

“To date, four cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the Central West. The first case, also at Blackall, has since completed their home quarantine and been discharged and is no longer active,” he said.

“No further details will be provided due to confidentiality.

“Remember, if you have any symptoms, no matter how mild, please get tested.”

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

Testing is available for free at all our facilities in the Central West.

Please call ahead to register in advance for testing. For Longreach Hospital, the number is 4658 4731. For Blackall Hospital, phone 4650 7700.

For all other facilities, see our Facebook: www.facebook.com/CentralWestHHS

Central West Health’s travelling vaccination clinics have restarted as of today (6 January).

Mr West said Central West Health will continue delivering booster vaccinations to those who have completed their primary course of vaccination, as well as offering first and second doses to those who are still unvaccinated or have had only one dose.

“From 10 January, the vaccination clinics also will be offering COVID–19 vaccinations to children aged from five to 11 years, in line with national recommendations,” he said.

“The dose is one-third of the dose approved for those aged 12 and over and should be administered in two doses at least 8 weeks apart.

“During January, outreach vaccination clinics are scheduled for everyone aged 5 years and over at Barcaldine, Alpha, Winton, Boulia and Longreach.”

Clinics at other Central West Queensland communities will be advertised soon in local media, as well as the Central West Hospital and Health Service website and Facebook.

The Longreach-based vaccination booking and information call centre is open.

Booking an appointment for a first, second or booster dose of vaccine is easy as calling 1800 953 703, or emailing: CW-COVAX@health.qld.gov.au

“I cannot emphasise enough, the best thing people can do to protect themselves is to ensure they are fully vaccinated with two doses of vaccine and that they have their booster dose when it comes due,” Mr West said.

“We can’t eliminate COVID-19, but we will be better protected when vaccinated, particularly as community transmission increases.

“While being vaccinated will not prevent you from getting COVID-19, vaccination has been proven to reduce the severity of the illness and help keep you out of hospital and, especially, out of intensive care.

“Also wear masks as directed, practice social distancing and good hygiene, including frequent washing of hands with sanitiser and get tested if you have symptoms.

“We are also urging people to re-think their need to be out and about in the community.

“Before going to visit someone who is vulnerable or attending a crowded venue, you should think carefully about the risk posed to yourself and to others.”