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Community

17 January, 2022

So far, so good: Cape's COVID-19 cases still under control

The latest update from the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service.

By Matt Nicholls

CAPE York has so far managed to keep COVID-19 under control, with health authorities pleased with the region’s attitude to slowing the spread of the virus.

As of Monday morning, there were 222 active cases in the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service region.

The number of active cases has been fairly stable for the past week.

There were 245 active cases last Monday.

In total, there have been 489 cases of COVID-19 in the region, with 265 patients recovered.

In Lakeland, for example, where a spate of cases broke out on a farm, the active number is four, well down from the total of 75.

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service chief executive Bev Hamerton said she was pleased with the community’s approach to the virus and encouraged people to keep wearing masks, wash hands and get vaccinated.

“All active cases with the region are currently being managed at home,” she said.

“An additional case at Lockhart River has been transferred to Cairns Hospital.

“However, their hospitalisation is for a condition unrelated to COVID.

“As they are no longer in the region, they are not included in the health service’s active case numbers. All identified close contacts also are being managed appropriately.”

Ms Hamerton said vaccination continued to be the best protection against getting severe symptoms from COVID-19.

“Last week our vaccination clinics were well attended, with additional clinics coming on stream this week,” she said.

“I encourage everyone to ensure they are fully vaccinated.

“As Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has said, you are nine times more likely to end up in hospital if you are unvaccinated, compared to if you are fully vaccinated and have had your booster.

“People with chronic and underlying conditions also are more likely to develop serious illness if they are infected with COVID-19.

“Please get vaccinated if you have not yet had your first dose, please come forward and have your second dose if you have only had one dose – and please ensure you have your booster vaccination if you have had both doses.

“I also encourage parents to ensure their children aged 5 to 11 years are vaccinated.

“Remember, the child vaccination is being delivered in two doses about eight weeks apart, so you must bring your child back for the second dose to ensure they are fully protected.”

Last week, the health service administered 138 vaccinations to children aged between 5 and 11.

Currently, 77 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 years and over in the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service region is now fully vaccinated with two doses of vaccine and 89 per cent with at least one dose.

“We have also delivered about 2791 booster vaccinations across the region and are pleased with the good take-up of these to date,” Ms Hamerton said.

This week, vaccination clinics are being held at:

Bamaga

l 12 years + at the Bamaga Primary Health Care Clinic (Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm).

l 5-11 years at Bamaga PHCC (bookings only via the PHCC).

Cooktown

l 12 years + at the Lions Hall (Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm).

l 5-11 years at the Lions Hall (Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm).

Hope Vale

l 12 years + at the Hope Vale PHCC (Tuesday to Friday 9am to 4pm).

l 5-11 years at Hope Vale PHCC (bookings only via the PHCC).

Coen

l 12 years + at the Coen PHCC (Tuesday to Thursday 9am to 4pm).

Kowanyama

l 12 years + at the Kowanyama PHCC (Tuesday to Thursday 9am to 4pm)

Lockhart River

l 12 years + at the Lockhart River PHCC (Tuesday to Thursday 9am to 4pm).

Hammond Island

l 12 years + at the Hammond Island Community Hall (Thursday 20 January, 9am to 4pm).

Weipa

l 12 years + at the Storm Surge Shelter (Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm).

l 5-11 years at the Storm Surge Shelter (Tuesday to Friday 9am to 4pm).

Napranum

l 12 years + at the Napranum PHCC (Tuesday to Thursday 9am to 4pm)

l 5-11 years at Napranum PHCC (bookings only via PHCC)

Thursday Island

l 12 years + at the Tamwoy Hall (Monday to Wednesday 9am to 4pm).

l 5-11 years at the TRAWQ Hall (Tuesday to Friday 9am to 4pm)

Horn Island

l 12 years + at the Horn Island PHCC (Friday 21 January, 9am to 4pm)

Vaccine bookings also can be arranged outside the hours indicated above for special circumstances.

Contact your local primary health care centre or hospital.

Vaccinations also are available in communities where local staff have undertaken certification to administer the Pfizer vaccine.

These include Wujal Wujal, Napranum, Aurukun, Kowanyama, Coen and Laura, along with Erub (Darnley), Iama (Yam) and Horn islands and the Kubin community on Moa Island, with more communities coming online.

For vaccination dates and locations of upcoming outreach clinics, please visit the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service website and Facebook page.

And 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.

“When getting tested or vaccinated, or attending any of our facilities for health services, please remember our staff are doing their very best to care for you,” Ms Hamerton said.

“Please respect them. We will not tolerate any abuse.

“If you have symptoms, testing for COVID-19 is available at all our facilities in the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service region through a combination of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, depending on individual requirements.

“There is no issue with availability of tests.”

If you have purchased or been given a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) to use at home and you test positive for COVID-19, please call your local health facility and let them know as soon as possible.

“Our staff will take your details and give them to the Torres and Cape Public Health team, who will then contact you.”

Active cases in the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service as of Monday morning:

Weipa – 53

Thursday Island – 35

Cooktown – 34

Bamaga – 24

Lockhart River – 23 

Badu Island – 9

Hope Vale – 6

Horn Island – 6

Aurukun – 5

Napranum – 4

Coen – 4

Wujal Wujal – 4

Lakeland – 3

Rossville – 2

Masig Island – 2

Pormpuraaw – 1

Bloomfield – 1

Skardon River - 1

Injinoo – 1

Saibai Island – 1

Warraber Island – 1

Erub Island – 1

Moa Island (Kubin) – 1


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