Don’t wait this one out

Pic: UNSPLASH

“Don’t sit at home and think, “I’ll wait this one out’’,” said Central West Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Anthony West

“The booster is that added level of protection that is critical during this current Omicron wave, and to also protect you against whatever may be around the corner.”

The adage comes as nine new cases of COVID-19 have been reported overnight.

Allowing for relieved cases, the total number of active cases currently in the region to 59.

2 x Alpha

3 x Barcaldine

15 x Blackall

2 x Boulia

32 x Longreach

1 x Muttaburra

4 x Winton .

Mr West has urged localst to get tested if they have symptoms, no matter how mild.

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

Over the coming weeks, COVID-19 will continue to impact you and your family. We are encouraging everyone to make a COVID-19 Ready plan. Visit the COVID Ready website for information:

www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-ready

“Now more than ever, it is essential to get vaccinated and receive a booster shot,” Mr West said.

“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. ”

Currently, 91.6 per cent of eligible Central West residents aged 12 years and older are now fully vaccinated with two doses of vaccine.

The rate of vaccination amongst our First Nations residents also is very high with 78.8 per cent of those aged 12 years and over fully vaccinated.

Our vaccination clinics are busy delivering booster vaccinations to eligible people aged 18 years and over and vaccinations for children aged 5-11 years, as well as first and second doses for those who haven’t yet had them.

To date, Central West Health has delivered 3520 booster vaccinations across the region.

“If you are due for your booster, you must come out and get it,” Mr West said.

“If you’re over 18 and you haven’t received your booster, you’re not fully protected.

Mr West said in addition to boosters, we have also so far delivered more than 250 vaccinations to children aged 5–11 years in Blackall, Barcaldine, Longreach, and Winton.

“Remember, the child vaccine has to be delivered in two doses about eight weeks apart, so it’s vital children are brought back for their second dose for maximal protection,” he said.

“The sooner you bring your child in for that first dose, the sooner the second dose date will come around so your child can complete their course of vaccination.”

Current confirmed community vaccination clinics are:

Longreach 21 and 22 January

Muttaburra 25 January

Alpha 27 January

Longreach 28 and 29 January

Aramac 31 January

Tambo 2 February

Isisford 4 February

Bookings are essential, please phone 1800 953 703, or email: CW-COVAX@health.qld.gov.au

For 5-11 years, the call centre team will provide information on available appointments and parent/guardian consent requirements.

Blackall General Practice also provides COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone aged 5 years and over in the Blackall and surrounding property area.

Phone the Blackall General Practice on 4657 8200 during business hours to discuss your nurse-led vaccination appointment.

Please note that tighter visitor restrictions are now in place for public and private hospitals across Queensland to ensure the ongoing safety of patients and staff. In summary:

In Emergency Departments, 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).

In most patient settings, a maximum of two fully vaccinated visitors for each patient is permitted.

For antenatal classes, women are requested to attend appointments on their own.

If there are exceptional circumstances, women must seek permission from the clinic prior to attending the appointment.

During birth, there can only be two support people (including the partner) in the birthing suite.

After birth, no more than two vaccinated visitors are permitted at any one time.

If a child has surgery, then parents may visit after surgery.

Visitors can be permitted for the purpose of an end-of-life visit.

For COVID designated zones, beds, or wards there are no visitors until the patient is a child, has a cognitive impairment, or has a need for a full-time support person (due for example to frailty, self-care needs, or a communication partner) provided the visitor is fully vaccinated, and has received a booster dose where eligible