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Testing capacity ramped up in Queensland

Queensland Health has increased its testing capacity through extra staffing and extended hours to help manage demand at fever clinics across the state, particularly in the South East corner.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said there were 76 Queensland Health testing facilities that were operating yesterday and today, and many more in the private sector.

“Testing facilities are available 7 days a week and include dedicated fever clinics and drive through sites, private labs and Commonwealth-run clinics,” she said.

“We have been working to increase capacity across the state – particularly in the south east corner – by mobilising additional clinics and staff, and extending hours at existing clinics.

“If your nearest testing facility is experiencing delays, please check other locations. I understand waiting times for tests may be longer than normal and I thank everyone in Queensland for their patience.

"Please check the Queensland Health website for opening hours before leaving home and bring water, a hat and sunscreen with you in case you need it."

To access a full list of COVID-19 testing locations, with interactive map and post code search, visit: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/stay-informed/testing-and-fever-clinics

“If anyone has symptoms, no matter how mild, they should go and get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result,” Dr Young said.

“Symptoms may include fever, cough, breathing difficulties, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. Other than arranging to get tested, if you feel unwell in any way, please stay home.”

New restrictions will come into effect from 1am Monday 4 January restricting anyone who has been in Victoria on or since 21 December from entering vulnerable facilities.

Dr Young said the restrictions would apply to aged care facilities, hospitals, disability accommodation and correctional facilities.

“We’re responding quickly to protect people in these facilities by restricting any visitors who have been in high-risk locations so we can keep them as safe as possible,” she said.

“We’ve done this right through the pandemic, as have other jurisdictions.”

Anyone currently in Queensland who has been in Victoria on or since 21 December should get tested immediately and quarantine at home or their accommodation until they receive a negative result.

Dr Young said we continue to urge Queenslanders to reconsider their need to travel to Victoria and New South Wales.

“We have not declared hotspots in Victoria or in other areas of New South Wales outside of Greater Sydney – so right now, people can move freely between states,” she said.

“But it’s really important the community understands that decisions may need to be made quickly to protect Queenslanders.

“Please reconsider your need to travel to these states if it’s not urgent, and if you do go, be prepared if border changes occur.”