Bundaberg fever clinic nurse Michelle Cooper was the second Queensland recipient of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine when she vaccinated by nurse Tammy Shilvock.
Bundaberg fever clinic nurse Michelle Cooper was the second Queensland recipient of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine when she vaccinated by nurse Tammy Shilvock.

COMBATING COVID: Region’s testing and vaccine numbers revealed

The region’s residents have donned masks, lined up to be tested at local fever clinics and booked in for vaccinations in droves to do their part to combat any potential spread of COVID-19 in the Wide Bay.

A Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service spokesperson said this week the Bundaberg Fever Clinic experienced its busiest days since opening about 12 months ago.

219 people were tested for COVID-19 on Monday and another 293 on Tuesday, quite the increase from the 20 people who were tested on Sunday and a total of 138 people tested during the week of March 22-28.

“Our fever clinics across Wide Bay, including Bundaberg, have substantially increased their staffing levels and extended their opening hours this week to handle the increased demand for testing,” the spokesperson said.

“WBHHS continues to monitor numbers and respond accordingly, and we will advise the community as soon as possible of any new testing arrangements.”

And it’s not just testing that’s been undertaken locally.

According to Queensland Health vaccination data for total doses administered there has been more than a thousand covid-jabs at their vaccination sites in the Wide Bay Burnett.

Here’s a breakdown of total doses administered per Queensland Health vaccine sites in the Wide Bay Burnett:

  • Biggenden Outreach – 21
  • Bundaberg Hospital – 1,044
  • Childers Outreach – 19
  • Eidsvold Outreach – 20
  • Gayndah Outreach – 28
  • Gin Gin Outreach – 17
  • Hervey Bay Hospital – 573
  • Maryborough Hospital – 425
  • Monto Outreach – 19
  • Mundubbera Outreach – 20

The WBHHS spokesperson said the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continued as planned, and WBHHS had extended operating hours atmany of its hubs to accommodate demand.

“At this stage, WBHHS is responsible only for the vaccination of healthcare workers and other critical workers identified by the Australian Government in the 1a and 1b priority groups, and is generally not vaccinating members of the public,” they said.

There are nine general practices across the Bundaberg region where those eligible can book to get vaccinated – see the list here.

Queensland’s vaccine strategy is guided by the COVID-19 vaccine National rollout strategy and will be undertaken in five stages: 1a (Frontline healthcare and quarantine worker and residents in aged care facilities), 1b (Adults with higher risks), 2a (Adults with moderate risks), 2b (Rest of the adult population), 3 (People under the age of 18 if recommended).

First Queensland recipient of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine Bundaberg Hospital Emergency Department Nurse Unit Manager Suzanne Smith with vaccinator Sherine Binder.
First Queensland recipient of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine Bundaberg Hospital Emergency Department Nurse Unit Manager Suzanne Smith with vaccinator Sherine Binder.

Queensland Health’s website outlines individuals who are eligible in 1a continue to be prioritised, Queensland is transitioning into vaccinating Priority Group 1b, commencing with its remaining health care workforce.

The IWC will be providing COVID-19 vaccinations in clinics from Monday April 19 2021.

A statement on their Facebook page reads these clinics will be prioritised in the first instance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their households.

Bookings will be necessary but will only be accepted closer to the rollout.

You can check to see if you can book a COVID-19 vaccination via the Vaccine Eligibility Checker or phone the National Coronavirus and COVID-19 Vaccination Helpline on 1800 020 080.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service took to social media on Wednesday morning to confirm a patient with COVID-19 was being treated at Bundaberg Hospital.

“This patient is linked to the Byron Bay cluster and tested positive while she was self-isolating following her return,” the post read.

“Comprehensive contact tracing has been completed and there is believed to be no significant public health risk as a result and at this stage, there are no listed exposure sites in Wide Bay related to this case.

The community is still encouraged to get tested if they have any symptoms or have visited one of the statewide locations identified on the Queensland contact tracing site including casual contact sites at Gin Gin and Miriam Vale from a separate case.

Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service currently operates three fever clinics and testing is available at their rural facilities by appointment, as well as at private clinics in the region.

Bundaberg's covid fever clinic will be open from 6.30am.
Bundaberg's covid fever clinic will be open from 6.30am.

The WBHHS spokesperson said WBHHS had been in a constant state of planning, preparation and response since the COVID-19 situation first started unfolding, enabling them to “act quickly in the face of current increases in testing demand and the possibility of more confirmed cases”.

“We have multiple staff trained for treating and testing COVID-19 across our hospitals, meaning we can respond rapidly and flexibly to the needs of the time,” the spokesperson said.

“We also have good supplies of clinical and personal protective equipment.

“We want to reassure our community that our public health and clinical teams have responded to similar challenges before, and we will do it again and again as needed.”

To find your nearest fever clinic, click here.

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