Spike in region’s recent Covid-19 testing figures
Testing remains one of the best methods to find and isolate confirmed cases of COVID-19 and prevent further spread.
A Wide Bay Hospital and Health Services spokesperson said up until August 12, 19,546 COVID-19 tests had been performed at public and private testing sites across Wide Bay.
"This includes 2,526 COVID-19 tests at our three WBHHS fever clinics at Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Maryborough in the past fortnight," the spokesperson said.
"During the week of July 30 - August 5, we saw a significant increase in testing, most likely as a result of heightened public concern because of confirmed cases in south-east Queensland. "Testing numbers have remained relatively high since.
"High rates of COVID-19 testing are crucial to ensuring positive cases can be identified and isolated as quickly as possible, before they have the chance to unknowingly infect others around them."
From August 6-12 there were 314 tests undertaken at the Bundaberg WBHHS Fever Clinic.
Despite the clinics having been opened for several months, there are still plenty of questions surrounding the process like: Do I need a referral or an appointment? What can I expect during the test? Is it safe to be at the fever clinic? Does it cost anything and if I don't have all the symptoms of COVID-19, should I still have a test?
Which is why WBHHS has compiled a list of answers to frequently asked questions to help the community with any queries they might have about the testing process.
You do not need a referral or an appointment to be tested, you can just arrive and be tested from the safety of your vehicle as all WBHHS fever clinics in Wide Bay operate on a drive-through basis.
The testing for COVID-19 involves collecting nasal (inside your nose) and throat swabs, which can be a little uncomfortable, but it's over very quickly.
"It's a bit like having a needle - momentary discomfort, but long-lasting impact," the WBHHS advice reads.
"The swab samples are then transferred to Queensland Health's central testing laboratory in Brisbane, which is well equipped to handle large testing volumes."
The test is free for everyone, whether you're a local, an overseas nationals, even if you come from a country that doesn't have a reciprocal health agreement with Australia, there is no charge.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and loss of smell or taste, as well as a sore throat, runny nose, fatigue and shortness of breath.
WBHHS recommend getting tested if you have any of the symptoms, no matter how mild, as everyone will experience the symptoms and severity of COVID-19 differently.
"Our clinical staff are highly trained and experienced in testing and infection control procedures," WBHHS state.
"They will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves and aprons, and they'll also give you instructions to help you follow our procedures.
"Because all our fever clinics are set up as drive-through operations, it means anyone presenting for testing can remain safely in their car and maintain their distance from other people being tested."
After your test, you'll need to self-isolate until you get a negative result and your symptoms resolve; this protects against further spread, regardless of whether you have COVID-19 or another viral illness.
WBHHS state that typically you'll receive your results within 24-72 hours and you'll be notified of your negative result either by phone call or SMS.
"If you've tested positive, you'll be contacted by our Public Health Unit team, who will tell you what to do next," WBHHS state.
"If you're well enough to take care of yourself, you'll need to stay at home in self-isolation until you recover. If you get sicker, you may be admitted to hospital.
"The Public Health Unit will also talk to you about who you've been in contact with since you've had symptoms, so they can try to identify who else may be at risk of infection.
"This is called contact tracing and is an important part of our response to stopping the spread of COVID-19."
As a community member or visitor, you can do your part to help us prevent spread by:
practising good hand hygiene, practice physical distancing at all times, staying home if you're unwell, and getting tested if you have symptoms.
The local clinic is at the Recreational Precinct on Kendalls Rd, Branyan which is open from 7.30am - 5.30pm.
For more information click here.