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31 December, 2021

Three COVID-19 cases in Weipa, 13 on Thursday Island

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

By Matt Nicholls

One new case of COVID-19 has been identified on Thursday Island and two further cases at Weipa.

This brings to 13 the total number of cases so far identified on the island and three cases so far at Weipa.

"However, we are still awaiting results from Cairns laboratories on many tests sent for analysis, so case numbers could increase," Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service CEO Bev Hamerton said.

"The individuals on Thursday Island are being managed at their homes with appropriate medical and nursing oversight and monitoring, except for one patient who is well but has been transferred to Cairns Hospital for continued management as a precaution due to their personal circumstances.

"No further details will be provided due to confidentiality.

"The two new cases at Weipa are not connected to each other or to the first Weipa case.

"Both new cases are double vaccinated and being managed at home in a stable condition, along with family members who are also isolating.

"Both had limited contact in the community."

Contact tracing is continuing for one of the two new Weipa cases and if any exposure sites of note are identified, they will be published on the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service Facebook page

For the other new Weipa case, the following exposure sites have been identified:

·       Close contacts – quarantine immediately for 7 days from exposure time and follow the instructions of the public health team, including any testing requirements.

o   27 December – Qantas Flight QF 2482, Rows 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.

·       Casual contacts – ONLY get tested if you have symptoms  

o   28 December, 12 midday to 1 pm - Shell service station at Rocky Point, the serving staff member only

o   29 December, 2:17 pm to 3:30 pm – Woolworths Supermarket Weipa; the serving staff member only.

·       Low-risk contacts – ONLY get tested if you have symptoms  

o   27 December – Qantas Flight QF2482, all other passengers 

o   28 December, 12 midday to 1 pm - Shell service station at Rocky Point, all other staff members and customers in shop at time.

o   29 December, 2:17 pm to 3:30 pm – Woolworths Supermarket Weipa; all other staff members and customers in shop at time.

Please note: Under new guidelines introduced state-wide, close contacts should quarantine immediately for 7 days from exposure time and follow the instructions of the public health team, including any testing requirements.

Casual or low-risk contacts should now ONLY get tested if they have symptoms.

If you have any symptoms however mild, testing is available at the Thursday Island Hospital fever clinic from 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday as well as from 8 am to 5 pm throughout the New Year long weekend.

In Weipa, if you have any symptoms, testing is available from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday at the fever clinic at Weipa Integrated Health Service. Testing will also be available throughout the New Year long weekend. Please phone 4082 3611 in advance to register.

You should always get tested if you 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.

When attending any of our facilities, whether for testing or any other reason, please remember that mask wearing now is mandatory at all health facilities.

Mask wearing also is mandatory in a wide range of venues on a state-wide basis including throughout our region, so please familiarise yourself with the requirements on the Queensland Government website.

Once you’ve had your test, please do the right thing: go straight home and stay there until you receive a negative result.

Torres Strait, Cape York and Northern Peninsula Area residents should be in no doubt that COVID-19 is coming to all our communities and it is likely you will get it.

There is no way to avoid it unless you lock yourself up in your house and avoid all outside contacts with family, friends, or anyone. That is clearly impractical and impossible for virtually everyone in our communities.

The best thing people can do to protect themselves now is to ensure they are fully vaccinated with two doses of vaccine and that they have their booster dose when it comes due.

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.

As more Queenslanders test positive to COVID-19, it’s vital the community knows what to do if they test positive.

If you must quarantine at home, please ensure you have plans in place for that period.

Visit the Queensland Government “COVID Ready” and the “I have COVID-19” websites for information about how to prepare and what to do.

The information is extensive and easy to follow.

https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/stay-informed/i-have-covid

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

Always remember these tips:

·       Stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading your illness to others – we’re at the point now where it is likely to be COVID-19.

·       Get tested if you have even mild COVID-19 symptoms – then go home and stay home.

·       Wash your hands often, with soap or hand sanitizer.

·       Wear a mask if you can’t socially distance, or when mandatory masks are required.

·       Get the COVID-19 vaccine – including your booster dose when it’s time.

·       Check in with the CheckIn QLD app.

 


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