Australia

Qld records new quarantine cases, huge testing spike

More than 13,000 Queenslanders were tested for COVID-19 on Monday, the highest number of tests since the state last saw the virus circulating in the community. The surge follows a weekend call-to-arms from Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young, who ordered anyone who had been in Victoria since December 21 to get tested and…

More than 13,000 Queenslanders were tested for COVID-19 on Monday, the highest number of tests since the state last saw the virus circulating in the community.

The surge follows a weekend call-to-arms from Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young, who ordered anyone who had been in Victoria since December 21 to get tested and isolate immediately.

The state recorded zero local cases and two in hotel quarantine on Tuesday amid 13,672 tests.

It has been 112 days since a locally transmitted case of COVID-19 was last detected in Queensland.

Acting Premier Cameron Dick asked Queenslanders on Monday to continue to do the right thing and get tested.

“Complacency is the enemy and vigilance is our friend,” he said.

“This virus is a wicked thing as we’re seeing in places like the United States and the United Kingdom.”

Clinics were initially swamped after Dr Young called for people to get tested, with waiting times of up to six hours before Queensland Health stood up more clinics on Monday.

At least 83 Queensland Health run fever clinics are now open across the state, with staff members at some major centres doubled.

Private testing facilities have also been reopened after the Christmas/New Year break, some no longer requiring a referral from a GP.

Dr Young also noted that authorities were being extra careful with managing hotel quarantine facilities after worrying spikes in case numbers overseas.

“We’ve now seen breaches from other states and in New Zealand … We have to be careful so we don’t get breaches,” she said.

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