COVID-19 testing at The Salvation Army in Bundamba on Sunday.
COVID-19 testing at The Salvation Army in Bundamba on Sunday.

Not enough people getting tested, masks encouraged

IPSWICH residents have been encouraged to carry a mask with them at all times in case they find themselves in a situation where they cannot social distance.

Queensland recorded just one new case overnight; a woman who is a relative of a staff member at the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre who had tested positive.

She went into quarantine on Saturday.

Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles said there was “a long way to go” in managing the cluster and that not enough people are getting tested in Ipswich and greater Brisbane.

More than 6800 tests were conducted over the past 24 hours.

Mr Miles said many people in Ipswich had been tested in response to the three young women who returned to Queensland from Melbourne at the end of July.

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He was concerned those who had already been tested might believe they don’t need to do so again, even if they have symptoms.

“If they have symptoms at all, I’d really urge them to come forward, please do get tested again for your own safety but also to help us assure ourselves that we are finding every case associated with this cluster,” he said.

“6834 tests in the last testing period is not enough for us to be assured that we are finding all of the cases that are out there.

“We need to test more people.”

Family of five at the COVID testing clinic in Bundamba on Saturday.
Family of five at the COVID testing clinic in Bundamba on Saturday.

There are 18 active cases across the state.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the next seven to 14 days were “absolutely critical” and all of the residents at the Wacol facility have now been tested.

All staff except for 16 workers have been tested.

Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said it has been recommeded to West Moreton Health hospitals that patients, staff and visitors now wear masks.

“We do need more people with symptoms to come forward,” she said.

“We need to track this virus down where it’s been. We need to act quickly, promptly to be able to contain it.

“This is the time to implement mask usage broadly within the (health) facilities.

“We have now five workers at the (Brisbane Youth Detention Centre) and five of their relatives have already been infected.”

Dr Young encouraged Ipswich residents to carry a mask with them, as well as hand sanitiser, in case of situations where they cannot social distance.

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“It’s time to consider using a mask,” she said.

“I won’t mandate it. Certainly we’re in a risky period in this time.

“If you cannot maintain social distancing, use a mask.

“That 1.5 metres is far more effective than a mask. Masks are not totally fool proof.

“They will not protect you totally.”

Dr Young said there were 92 young people released from the Wacol centre from July 22 who she was concerned about but she was being “super, super, super cautious”.

Authorities have “laid eyes” on 78 of them and spoken to guardians or parents of the others, with 42 tested in total.

For testing clinic locations visit here.

For current contact tracing alerts visit here.

If you visited these locations, and you experience any COVID-19 symptoms, you need to immediately get tested.

You must isolate while you are awaiting your results, and while you have symptoms.

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.



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