Clinical Nurse Dale Pogson at the drive-thru testing clinic at Kingaroy Hospital (Photo: DDHHS)

May 28, 2020

A drive-thru testing clinic is available at Kingaroy Hospital so people can be tested for COVID-19 without leaving their cars.

But to access the drive-thru clinic, people must phone beforehand to the Darling Downs Health COVID-19 Hotline on 1800-490-468.

Overall in Queensland 184,000 tests have been conducted since the pandemic began – including 3641 on Wednesday – but there is capacity for up to 10,000 a day so Queenslanders have been urged to get tested … no matter how mild their symptoms.

The last confirmed COVID-19 case in the Darling Downs Health region was announced as recovered on May 2, but that hasn’t stopped preparations from going ahead for any future outbreak .

A Darling Downs Health spokesperson said Kingaroy Hospital had comprehensive strategies in place to care for future cases of the novel coronavirus.

Kingaroy Hospital Director of Medical Services Isaac Hohaia said hospital staff and management had been working tirelessly.

“There has been an enormous amount of work done by our Kingaroy Hospital team in the past couple of months as we have put in place plans to increase capacity as needed and ensure adequate supplies, equipment, staff and contingencies,” he said.

“This has included work to develop necessary partnerships, training, services and infrastructure.”

Kingaroy Hospital has created a COVID-19 Taskforce involving hospital staff, Queensland Ambulance Service staff, and local GPs as well as the drive-thru clinic.

The South Burnett community has helped to slow the spread of COVID-19 by staying vigilant, staying home, social distancing and good hygiene, but Dr Hohaia said now was not the time for complacency.

“It is possible that new cases could be detected in our region at any time,” he said.

“We can’t undo all the good work we’ve done to date and we all need to keep up the current approach to continue slowing the spread of COVID-19.

“We need everyone to continue playing their part to protect themselves and our vulnerable people.

“Please continue to follow the recommended advice from Queensland Health regarding social distancing, public gatherings and general wellbeing.”

* * *

Darling Downs Health is preparing for any future COVID-19 outbreak in the area by erecting a series of demountable nurses’ quarters at local hospitals.

The Cherbourg one was completed recently (see separate report).

“A new demountable building being installed at Wondai Hospital is a four-bedroom accommodation facility for staff as part of our plans to respond to COVID-19 as needed,” a Darling Downs Health spokesperson said.

“There has also been a four-bedroom demountable accommodation facility for staff installed at both Murgon Hospital and Cherbourg Hospital.

“Two four-bedroom demountable accommodation facilities for staff will be installed at Kingaroy Hospital soon.”

* * *

Dr Hohaia reminded residents that despite the COVID-19 preparations, hospitals continued to be open for anyone needing healthcare.

“We would like to thank everyone for staying home and slowing the spread of COVID-19 but remind you that if you need medical attention, we are here to help you, and it is safe for you to be here,” he said.

“We follow the highest standard of infection control and while Kingaroy Hospital is always very clean, we are cleaning even more than usual.

“We are physically distancing and using the right protective equipment to keep everyone safe.

“Please don’t hesitate to come to hospital if you are unwell or having a medical emergency.”

  • Up-to-date COVID-19 information is available on the Queensland Health website
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