Bundaberg Hospital fever clinic. Photo: Mike Knott
Bundaberg Hospital fever clinic. Photo: Mike Knott

Hundreds of coronavirus tests taken in Wide Bay region

WITHIN two weeks more than 720 tests have been undertaken across Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service's fever clinics.

And that number is likely to grow as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the state, nation and globe.

According to the data available on Queensland Health's website, in three days there were three new confirmed cases of coronavirus; one of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

A Queensland Health spokesperson said fever clinics at Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Maryborough were currently open from 11am - 7.30pm, seven days a week.

Signage has recently been introduced near the entrances to the fever clinics reminding people of the testing criteria.

"Queensland Health's testing criteria, consistent with that outlined by the Federal Government, is designed to ensure all possible cases of COVID-19 are detected quickly and efficiently," the spokesperson said.

"This is critical when responding to an epidemic like COVID-19.

"Queenslanders are eligible for testing if they have been overseas in the last 14 days and have a fever or respiratory symptoms; or have been in close contact with a confirmed novel coronavirus case."

The spokesperson said it was important to remember that testing was also only possible if you are experiencing the relevant symptoms.

"If people do not have any symptoms there is no testing that can be done to predict if you will become unwell," the spokesperson said.

"If Wide Bay residents meet the testing criteria, clinical staff wearing personal protective equipment will test temperature, oxygen saturation, pulse and respiration.

"If possible COVID-19 symptoms are confirmed, nasal or throat swabs and sputum and blood samples will be taken.

"These samples are then transferred to the nearest laboratory that is set up to test for novel coronavirus (COVID-19)."

Once samples are taken, people will "usually" be sent home to self-quarantine while awaiting results.

If you are very unwell you may be admitted to hospital for treatment.

"If you become sicker while you are waiting for results, please contact your doctor or call an ambulance," the spokesperson said.

"Make sure you let them know you are waiting for test results for novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

"If the result is positive, people will receive a call from a public health unit which will advise you what to do next. If the result is negative, you will also be notified."