The Chronicle

Test numbers rise


TESTING numbers at Toowoomba’s Baillie Henderson Hospital have risen as the threat of lockdown looms in southeast Queensland.

Three new Covid-19 cases were recorded overnight – two locally acquired – however one of the cases marks the beginning of a “new cluster”, and Queensland­ers are being urged to get tested and vaccinated.

Darling Downs Health acting executive lead of health emergency operations centre

Michelle Forrest said there was an increase in the number of people coming forward to get tested for Covid-19 this week at their Baillie Henderson drive-in testing site.

Thursday was the busiest day at the clinic with 149 people getting tested for Covid, with 483 tested in total this week.

“It is important for people to get tested if they have symptoms, however mild,” Ms Forrest said.

“Our testing site is open this weekend and on the public holiday on Monday from 8.30am to 4pm.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Friday one of the new cases was linked with the aviation cluster and spent time on the southern end of the Gold Coast for four days.

Another case was acquired interstate and only in the community for one day.

The cases left southeast Queensland in a precarious position, and Ms Palaszczuk said if the health advice is to go into lockdown the state will enter lockdown.

“This is serious,” she said.

“We will go hard, we will go fast if necessary. The fundamenta­l reason we’re not in lock down is because we don’t have any seeding or unlinked community transmissi­on.”

As testing numbers rise in the Darling Downs, more than 28 per cent of children aged 12 to 15 years in the South West region have now received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

South West Covid Vaccinatio­n co-ordinator Robyn Brumpton said this was the second-highest vaccinatio­n rate in the state for 12-15-yearolds, second only to the Central West region.

“Just as encouragin­gly, 37 per cent of the children we have vaccinated are First Nations children,” Ms Brumpton said.

“We have seen a surge in child vaccinatio­n numbers across the region, particular­ly during the current school holidays, with many families turning up at our vaccinatio­n clinics.

“I would like to thank parents and guardians for being so proactive and bringing their children in to be vaccinated.”

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