Surge in COVID testing across region as border shuts
HEALTH services across the Gympie and Sunshine Coast region are experiencing a surge in demand for COVID-19 testing as fears over a potential outbreak grow in south east Queensland.
A Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service spokeswoman confirmed the increase as Australia continues to grapple with major outbreaks in Victoria and New South Wales.
The outbreaks prompted the Queensland Government to once more shut its border with New South Wales yesterday amid continued reports of people being caught breaching border restrictions.
So far, two alleged border hoppers have been found hiding out in the Gympie region.
A 51-year-old woman was accused of allegedly falsifying her documentation when she travelled from Victoria to Queensland.
She was found at a home in Gympie two days after she crossed.
Another man, 32-year-old Joseph Paul Mooney, appeared in Gympie Magistrates Court this week charged with dishonestly gaining entry to Queensland from New South Wales at the end of May.
MORE GYMPIE NEWS
He was found in a Curra home and has been remanded in custody.
Despite the announcement of increased testing, activity at Gympie’s testing sites did not appear to be abnormally high yesterday.
There were no queues at the Southside QML Pathology, where patients require a doctor’s referral, and the drive through COVID testing at the King St side of Gympie Hospital remains open to those similarly referred.
SCHHS has been contacted to confirm if testing at this site remains suspended.
The third centre, at Sullivan Nicolaides Gympie in Mary St, is only open on Saturdays.
South of Gympie, residents on the Sunshine Coast have reportedly been waiting more than an hour to get tested; at Caloundra, the wait has been two hours.
MORE GYMPIE NEWS
“We thank everyone who takes the time to get tested,” a SCHHS spokeswoman said.
“By doing so, you are helping us control the spread of this disease and protecting our community.
“Queenslanders in the main have been outstanding throughout this pandemic – responsible, compliant and considerate – and we ask that you to continue being patient.
“Importantly, if you have symptoms, it is critical that you get tested and isolate yourself until you know the results – for yourself, your loved ones and the broader community.”