Call to add CQ to travel bubble after staying COVID-19 free

EMBOLDENED by the lack of new COVID-19 cases after the shock positive case at the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre, CQ politicians are advocating for our region to be included in a proposal for an unrestricted travel bubble with North Queensland.

Heeding the call from Queensland Health to attend a fever clinic if they were experiencing even mild coronavirus symptoms, people from the Rockhampton region have turned out in force to be tested over the past 12 days.

A Queensland Health spokesperson said they had tested more than 1130 people in Rockhampton and Yeppoon since the staff member at the nursing centre tested positive on May 14.

North Rockhampton Nursing Centre locked down after a nurse at the facility tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month. (AAP Image/Levi Appleton)
North Rockhampton Nursing Centre locked down after a nurse at the facility tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month. (AAP Image/Levi Appleton)

"To date, there have been no more positive cases," the spokesperson said.

"Fever clinics at Rockhampton Hospital, CQUni Health Clinic and Capricorn Coast Hospital will remain open while there is demand for testing, and we hope people will continue to be tested if they have even the mildest of symptoms.

"The centre will not get the all-clear until we are satisfied everyone is safe; that will likely be longer than the usual 14-day period due to the vulnerable nature of the residents who live at the centre."

It takes between 36 and 48 hours for test results to come back and it was a standard requirement that all people tested go into isolation until their test result is known.

"Anyone with symptoms who presents for a COVID-19 test should self-isolate until they have a negative result and then wait until 24 hours after their symptoms are resolved," they said.

"Anyone who is asymptomatic and tested should self-isolate until they receive a negative result."

This week tourism industry peak bodies joined forces to issue a desperate plea to the Queensland Government to lift the impending 250km restriction on recreational travel and to create a North Queensland bubble enabling unrestricted travel between the Cairns, Whitsundays, Mackay and Outback region - cutting off on the Marlborough stretch north of Rockhampton.

Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said if approved by the expert health advice with COVID Safe plans in place, Central Queensland should be included in the North Queensland travel bubble.

Keppel MP Brittany Lauga and Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke want to see CQ included in a North Queensland travel bubble.
Keppel MP Brittany Lauga and Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke want to see CQ included in a North Queensland travel bubble.

"I have spoken with the Premier's office about this to voice my support for the plan," Ms Lauga said.

"It's a shame that Central Queensland has so far been left out by those calling for this travel bubble.

"Only Cairns, Whitsundays, Townsville and Mackay have been included but I'd love to see that bubble extended further south to include us."

Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke backed Ms Lauga's call saying he spoke to the Premier's office yesterday and asked for CQ to be included in any discussions around opening up a NQ travel bubble.

"I understand our recent COVID-19 case may complicate the situation a little bit and we need to follow expert medical advice but it would be good to have people able to travel around and see more of regional Queensland in time for the school holidays."

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry believed that we should be looking towards a broader lifting of restrictions to help our ailing regional businesses stay afloat.

"Our regions are struggling and our tourism operators from Cairns to Yeppoon are haemorrhaging money trying to stay open," Ms Landry said.

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry wants to see travel restrictions lifted around Queensland.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry wants to see travel restrictions lifted around Queensland.

"While the current 150km travel radius makes sense for people who live in the southeast corner, it doesn't make much sense for Central Queenslanders where we have huge distances to travel if we want to spend money on a holiday."

Rather than talking about travel bubbles, Ms Landry said Queensland needed to be fully open to benefit Queenslanders.

"I am pleading with the Premier to consider opening up the borders to help our ailing tourism industry," she said.

"The fact that Australians will soon be able to fly to New Zealand before they can fly into Queensland is absolutely crazy."

A total of 167,576 people have now been tested with 1,144 tested in the last 24 hours.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has revealed there has been one new case in the state overnight, traced to a woman from the Far North who was a passenger on the notorious Ruby Princess cruise ship.

Ms Palaszczuk said authorities were still trying to work out whether her case stemmed from the cruise ship or whether she contracted it in Cairns.

There are currently 12 active cases of COVID-19 in Queensland.

Of these, four people are being treated in hospital and one person remains in ICU.

To date, 1039 people have recovered and sadly, six people have died of the disease.

The current state total is 1057.

Central Queensland has had a total of nine cases, of which only one remains active.

 

Fever clinic test numbers for Rockhampton region

May 18: 408

May 19: 305

May 20: 208

May 21: 164

May 22: 138

May 23: 95

May 24: 57

May 25: 169

Signs outside of Rockhampton Base Hospital's fever clinic
Signs outside of Rockhampton Base Hospital's fever clinic

Testing locations

Fever clinics are specialist clinics to assess people who may be infected with COVID-19.

Testing is available to all Queenslanders with symptoms of fever (or history of fever) OR acute respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath). If you are unwell, please get tested and stay home.

CQ Health fever clinics run seven days a week. Phone the CQ COVID-19 hotline (between 6am - 6pm) on 4920 5800 to make an appointment.

• Rockhampton Hospital 9am - 4pm, 7 days per week

• CQUniversity Health Clinic Rockhampton 9am - 4pm, 7 days per week

• Building 14, Berrill Lane - access via CQUniversity Norman Road entrance

• Yeppoon - Capricorn Coast Hospital and Health Service 12:30pm - 2:45pm, 7 days per week

• Gladstone Hospital 9am - 4pm, 7 days per week

• Emerald Medical Clinic, Phone: 4986 7400

• Gracemere Family Practice, Phone: 4933 3334

• BITS Medical (Gladstone, Boyne Island and Tannum Sands), Phone: 4973 3000

 

Queensland Government road map to easing restrictions

Stage 1: Commenced on 15 May 2020.

Queenslanders can now:

• Have a maximum of five visitors to your home

• Travel up to 150km for day trips

• Have outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people at:

• Restaurants, cafes and licensed venues

• Outdoor group exercise (personal training)

• Pools

• Public spaces and lagoons

• Playgrounds

• Libraries

• Weddings

• Hiking and other recreational activities in national and state parks

• Places of worship and religious ceremonies

• Hold funerals with up to 20 guests indoors or 30 guests outdoors.

Road map to the easing of restrictions in Queensland
Road map to the easing of restrictions in Queensland

Stage 2: June 12, 2020

Family, friends and community

• Gatherings of up to 20 people:

• homes

• public spaces and lagoons (e.g. South Bank Parklands, Cairns, Airlie Beach etc)

• non-contact indoor and outdoor community sport

• personal training

• gyms*, health clubs* and yoga studios*

• pools (indoor and outdoor) and community sports clubs

• museums, art galleries and historic sites

• weddings

• parks, playground equipment, skate parks and outdoor gyms

• libraries

• hiking, camping and other recreational activities in national and state parks

• places of worship and religious ceremonies

• Funerals (max 50)

• Recreational travel, camping and accommodation, including caravan parks (max 250kms within your region)

• Businesses and economy

• Retail shopping

• 20 people permitted at any one time for:

• dining in (with COVID SAFE Checklist): restaurants*, cafés*, pubs*, registered and licensed clubs*, RSL clubs*, hotels* and casinos* - no bars or gaming

• indoor cinemas

• open homes and auctions

• outdoor amusement parks*, tourism experiences*, zoos* and arcades*

• concert venues*, theatres*, arenas*, auditoriums* and stadiums*

• beauty therapy, nail salons, tanning, tattoo parlours and spas (with COVID Safe Checklist)

• School holidays - drive holiday in your region - Queenslanders backing Queensland

• Tourism accommodation

• Outback‡

• Dining in (with COVID Safe Checklist): restaurants*, cafés*, pubs*, registered and licensed clubs*, RSL clubs* and hotels* (max 50 at any one time) for locals only (must show proof of residence) - no bars or gaming

• Recreational travel within the outback only if you live in the outback.

 

Stage 3: July 10, 2020

Subject to further planning and review, interstate and further intrastate travel will be permitted and a maximum of 100 people will be permitted for:

• gatherings in public spaces and homes

• dining in: restaurants, cafés, pubs, registered and licensed clubs, RSL clubs, food courts and hotels

• indoor cinemas

• places of worship and religious ceremonies

• museums, art galleries and historic sites

• pools and community sports clubs

• community sport

• gyms, health clubs and yoga studios

• outdoor amusement parks, zoos and arcades

• concert venues, theatres, arenas, auditoriums and stadiums

• weddings

• funerals

• saunas and bathhouses

• open homes and auctions

• casinos, gaming and gambling venues

• pubs, registered and licensed clubs, RSL clubs and hotels

• nightclubs

• beauty therapy, tanning, nail salons and spas, tattoo parlours and non-therapeutic massage parlours

• libraries

• hiking, camping and other recreational activities in national and state parks.



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