COVID-19 testing criteria expanded to anyone with a symptom


The testing criteria for COVID-19 has today been expanded so that anyone in the state who has COVID-19 symptoms can get tested, in what is the first step towards lifting restrictions.

There were two new cases of COVID-19 across the state overnight bringing the total to 1026, neither of these was in the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (CHHHS) region.

There was one recorded case in the CHHHS region the previous day bringing the Far North’s total to 34 cases, 28 of which have recovered.

Queensland Health’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said even though the number of infections is slowing, there were three key requirements that needed to be in place before Queensland considers easing restrictions.

“The first is to increase surveillance and testing, the second is to look at contact tracing and make sure we have that in place with compliance, and the third is to have rapid response teams in place,” she said.

“To increase testing, I have asked today, here in Queensland that every single person in the state who has any single symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, that is any acute respiratory symptoms – fever, a cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath - to immediately be tested.”

Previously to be tested you had to fit certain criteria, such as having travelled overseas in the last 14 days or come into contact with a known case.

The expanded criteria was already in place in Cairns along with Brisbane and the Gold Coast due to the potential for community transmission, however, now everyone including people in the Douglas Shire can get tested if they have worrying symptoms.

“So I ask all Queenslanders, if you are unwell with any symptoms of acute respiratory disease please come forward and be tested. See your GP, go to a fever clinic or local hospital and be tested.

“We have enormous capacity in Queensland to test, it has been gradually increasing and now we have it in place,” Dr Young said.

Before seeking a test, call ahead and tell them about your symptoms so they can prepare for your visit.

Currently, 18 of the 282 active confirmed cases are in hospital, with six of these in intensive care. The remainder of active cases are currently recovering at home.

A total of 738 Queenslanders (72% of total cases) have now recovered from COVID-19.

Contact tracing continues for recent cases. Queensland Health will notify the community if any other public health alerts are required.

Continuing to practise good hygiene and social distancing is still vital in the fight against COVID-19.

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