Exposure at Alpha Hospital

Alpha Multipurpose Health Service went into a temporary lockdown after staff members were exposed to an unwell COVID-positive community member who presented for care late yesterday.

Not related to Alpha’s first case in early January, the patient was transferred by Queensland Ambulance Service to Emerald Hospital for further care.

Central West Health has provided no further details, in regard to the patient, due to confidentiality.

However, they stated, 23 Alpha MPHS staff members have gone into quarantine as a precaution following the incident.

Replacement staff from other facilities were rushed to Alpha late yesterday; they undertook a deep clean of the facility and took care of four aged care and one respite resident at the facility.

All five residents in the hospital are well and being managed as normal but will be in quarantine for a week.

All quarantining staff and the aged care residents will be tested according to current protocols before coming out of quarantine in a week’s time.

Central West Health Executive Mr Anthony West said the organisation is in touch with all staff and aged care resident families and is providing support and information to them as required.

“Once the facility is deep cleaned, we hope to have the Alpha MPHS back in operation as soon as possible,” he said.

“Temporary staff will then continue to staff the MPHS until such time as the permanent staff members are cleared to return to work.”

There are currently have 12 staff at Alpha, which is equivalent to a full normal day shift.

While Alpha is in lockdown, local residents are being directed to seek emergency care if required through the 000 system.

Mr West said Alpha residents who have GP or other consultations scheduled at the MPHS over the next week are being contacted to have their appointments rescheduled.

COVID-19 testing is available via appointment at the Alpha MPHS.

You may be tested if you are symptomatic or if you have been informed you are a close contact by a Queensland Health officer.

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

This testing will be done as a drive-through in the ambulance bay.

Please only attend after you have been given an appointment time by a Queensland Health officer.

The phone number to arrange a COVID-19 test at Alpha is 4809 7023.

On behalf of Central West Health Mr West said they understand that community members may be anxious, please be reassured that every person that needs to be tested will be tested.

If you call the number and the phone is busy, please try again periodically until you can get through.

If you are unwell and in need of urgent medical care, please call 000. If you have general questions about COVID-19, please call 134 COVID (134 268).

Central West Health thanked locals for their understanding and said they look forward to working alongside you.