CW cases just shy of 50

In the past 24-hour-period, COVID-19 cases in the west have shot up by three, making a total of 49.

Including one in Alpha, 10 in Barcaldine, one in Bedourie, 10 in Blackall, 17 in Longreach, and 10 in Winton.

Central West Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Mr Anthony West said all cases were being managed at home or in their private accommodation through a partnership between Central West Health, Metro North Hospital and Health Service and an external Commonwealth service provider.

No further details will be provided due to confidentiality.

“Local transmission is now clearly evident in our communities and numbers can be expected to continue rising substantially,” he said.

“As such, Central West residents should be in no doubt that COVID-19 is well and truly present in our communities.

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

He said testing helps the Central West Health team quickly find as many cases in the community as possible and reduce the spread of COVID.

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.

Longreach Hospital 4658 4731 (and to save time, pre-register your Longreach test here bit.ly/31DFJdC)

Blackall Hospital 4650 7700

Barcaldine Multipurpose Health Service 4650 4000

Winton Multipurpose Health Service 4657 2700

Alpha Multipurpose Health Service 4809 7000

Aramac Primary Health Centre 4652 9000

Bedourie Primary Health Centre 4746 1226

Birdsville Primary Health Centre 4656 3245

Boulia Primary Health Centre 4746 2300

Isisford Primary Health Centre 4658 8500

Jericho (please call your nearest facility – Alpha or Barcaldine)

Jundah Primary Health Centre 4658 6500

Muttaburra Primary Health Centre 4658 7500

Tambo Primary Health Centre 4621 7100

Windorah Primary Health Centre 4656 6100

“Going forward, 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 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.”

Mr West urged 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,” he said.

“Our vaccination clinics are now in operation across the region and we are 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.

“Our clinics also are offering COVID–19 vaccinations to children aged from five to 11 years, in line with national recommendations.”

Mr West 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

Central West Hospital and Health Service currently reports on results from a combination of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, depending on each person’s individual requirements on the day of onsite testing.

Test results on RATs can be available after 15 minutes, and PCRs sometimes several days depending on the current backlog at pathology centres.

The important thing to remember is that everyone who is tested for COVID-19 is provided quarantine and healthcare information relevant to them.

People who are waiting for PCR test results are quarantining at home. People who are close contacts (regardless of their test results) are quarantining at home.

Everyone who tests positive for COVID-19, whether through a RAT or PCR test, is quarantining as per current requirements.