North Rockhampton Nursing Centre gets the all clear
North Rockhampton Nursing Centre has been given the all-clear following a staff member testing positive to COVID-19.
CQ Health Chief Executive Steve Williamson is extremely relieved that there were no further cases identified at the centre after four rounds of testing of residents, and more than 1500 tests in the public testing facilities in the community.
“Of course this wasn’t just by pure luck,” he said. “Our amazing team threw everything they possibly could into getting this result, and I could not be prouder.
“I cannot understate the level of anxiety we all experienced when we first got the news at 8pm on that Thursday night that a staff member had tested positive.
“Our team acted quickly and decisively with the sole objectives of keeping residents and staff safe.
“That meant 72 hours of non-stop action with very little or no sleep, as they swiftly organised for residents to be moved to safer locations where they were isolated, and arranged for immediate testing of residents, staff and close contacts of the affected nurse.
“We also moved quickly to expand our fever clinic at Rockhampton Hospital and set up a new location at the CQUniversity Health Clinic to cope with the level of testing demand and give us an idea of whether there was COVID-19 transmission in our community.
“After many months of planning for every scenario we could imagine we have our plans and processes down pat, and it meant rapid action.
“We had executive team members delivering water, staff offering to work on Saturday and Sunday to expand our call centre to cope with the number of calls coming through.
“This was done with a massive effort from right across our CQ Health team, our friends at the local private hospitals and Queensland Ambulance Service staff to our colleagues from Brisbane, Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast.”
Thirty-five residents were moved to Mater and Hillcrest private hospitals, and four to Rockhampton Hospital.
Some residents will start to move back to their original accommodation gradually from Monday, June 1, with some measures remaining to keep them safe.
Communal areas at the nursing centre will reopen today, and communal dining will resume.
“We’re very keen for our residents to return as much as possible to their normal routine, while still keeping them safe after an unsettling few weeks,” Mr Williamson said.
Visiting restrictions will be lifted from Friday, 5 June.
Mr Williamson said it was everyone’s responsibility to continue on with the good work of social distancing, using good hand hygiene and keeping us all safe.
“If anyone has the slightest of symptoms our teams are ready to test them to give peace of mind,” he said.
“This is vitally important.”
For information on where to go or how to book, go to https://www.health.qld.gov.au/cq/covid-19/fever-clinics.