Cherbourg Mayor Elvie Sandow, Councillors and Elders are urging Cherbourg residents to work together to beat the virus (Photo: CASC)

January 3, 2022

Official Queensland Health statistics show the recent COVID-19 outbreak in the South Burnett and Cherbourg has grown to 87 cases.

Figures to 7:00pm on January 2 show 36 cases have been reported in the South Burnett Regional Council area since December 29, and 51 cases in Cherbourg.

However, this figure is expected to grow with Cherbourg Council reporting 83 cases on Monday morning, and the official morning press briefing in Brisbane being told “about 90” people had tested positive in the Cherbourg cluster.

Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard said most Cherbourg cluster patients were in their 20s and 30s; two people were in Toowoomba Hospital including one in intensive care but not on a ventilator.

“As at this morning, it would appear the number of COVID case have steadied a little with 83 confirmed cases for Cherbourg, however there is still a testing backlog which is holding up results,” a Cherbourg Council statement read.

“Queensland Health team on the ground in Cherbourg have asked us to pass on their thanks and appreciation to everyone in community and apologies for the number of phone calls, questions and visits to people’s homes – and while they appreciate the frustration and stress this can cause, it has been necessary to help slow the spread and to get support to those in need as soon as possible

“We are still very concerned about the growing spread of this COVID Omicron virus as it is taking hold.

“It is REALLY important now that we ALL do our bit. Wash hands, wear your mask, social distance, watch out for our family, Elders and young ones – stay home and stay safe. No parties, no large gatherings, stay home.”

The plea to stay at home, wear masks, wash hands regularly and socially distance has been echoed in the Cherbourg community by Elders and councillors in messages broadcast on social media and on Cherbourg Radio.

Mayor Elvie Sandow said the only way Cherbourg could beat this virus was to “work together” … wear masks, get tested and isolate and limit movements.

Aunty Ada Simpson encouraged residents to “stay strong” while urging them to do the right thing to stop the spread of the virus … stay home, wear masks, wash or sanitise hands.

Deputy Mayor Tom Langton and Crs Bronwyn Murray and Fred Cobbo also urged residents to wear masks, socially distance and not have guests visit.

And Uncle Eric Law urged Cherbourg residents who were not feeling well to get tested at Cherbourg Hospital.

Several services at Cherbourg have been closed until further notice: the Sports Complex, Indigenous Knowledge Centre (IKC) and Containers For Change depot.  AIM church morning and evening services have been cancelled. NB. The Kingaroy Containers For Change depot is working normal operating hours.

UPDATE: A South Burnett Regional Council spokesperson said Council had received advice from Queensland Health on Monday of a further eight cases in Kingaroy and Murgon.

* * *

South Burnett Local Disaster Management Group has reminded residents any interaction in the community could lead to a COVID exposure.

“Our community can minimise our risk of exposure with social distancing, wearing of masks and of course vaccination,” a spokeperson said.

“If you are showing any signs or symptoms, please contact Queensland Health to arrange a COVID-19 test. Ring 13-42-68 to talk to Queensland Health and arrange your test at one of the testing sites.”

Testing sites in the South Burnett Regional Council local government area are at Nanango Hospital, Murgon Hospital, QML Pathology Kingaroy and Kingaroy Hospital.

For COVID-19 inquiries, including hot spots, border passes, restrictions, contact tracing or testing, visit www.covid19.qld.gov.au or call 134 COVID (13-42-68).

Remember to:

  • Monitor your health and if you show any signs of symptoms or are a close contact, you should follow Queensland Health directions, be tested and isolate until you receive your test results.
  • If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, call your doctor or 13 HEALTH (13-43-25-84) and get tested.
  • Call emergency services on 000 only if you are very sick.

External link: COVID related information on the SBRC website

* * *

southburnett.com.au has been keeping track of some basic statistics for local Council areas since the re-opening of the State border on December 13.

These statistics, from Queensland Health, show the total number of confirmed positive cases per Local Government Area since the pandemic began in January 2020.

They are NOT the total of current ACTIVE cases but demonstrate how the virus has spread quickly throughout the local community.

We took snapshots on Dec 13, Dec 21, Dec 29, Dec 30, Dec 31, Jan 1, Jan 2 and Jan 3:

  • South Burnett: 3 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 18 / 21 / 25 / 39
  • Cherbourg:  – / – / – / 3 / 12 / 21 / 30 / 51
  • Toowoomba: 52 / 56 / 233 / 312 / 368 / 396 / 463 / 579
  • Gympie: 7 / 6 / 23 / 26 / 38 / 43 / 48 / 68
  • North Burnett: 3 / 3 / 5 / 5 / 8 / 9 / 13 / 13
  • Somerset: 6 / 6 / 14 / 15 / 15 / 20 / 28 / 34
  • Western Downs: 3 / 3 / 16 / 18 / 23 / 30 / 36 / 48

NB. Data is reported by Queensland Health daily but can vary over time due to case reviews. When we took the first snapshots, Cherbourg LGA had not been added to the list by Qld Health as no cases had been recorded there. From December 31, data is current to 7:00pm the previous day.

* * *

Queensland Health is investigating the “probable” COVID-related death of a man aged in his late 30s on the Gold Coast.

Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard said the man, who was vaccinated, died suddenly at home on Sunday night.

He had allegedly tested positive to COVID from a rapid antigen test but that diagnosis is yet to be confirmed.

There are currently 20,239 active cases in Queensland, with 170 people in hospital including 10 people in intensive care. One person – a vaccinated man in his 80s – is on a ventilator.

Dr Gerrard 147 of the hospital patients were specifically being treated for COVID-19.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk urged elderly people who have not yet received their booster shot to “think seriously” about where they were going, and limit their attendance at large gatherings.

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