There are specific screening requirements for COVID-19.
There are specific screening requirements for COVID-19.

Emerald Medical Group testing for COVID-19, no confirmations

AS OF midday Wednesday, there were no confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Central Highlands, but doctors advise abiding by all possible precautions to "save many lives".

Emerald Medical Group acting chief executive officer Renee Barlow said that despite rumours to the contrary, people were being tested for the virus, but no test had yet returned positive.

"We are screening people," Mrs Barlow said.

"We're operating under the Queensland Government's testing requirements."

Those requirements state that novel coronavirus testing should only occur if a person meets two criteria: he must have a fever of 38 degrees or higher or have shortness of breath, a cough, or a sore throat; and he must have travelled overseas or been in contact with a confirmed case in the past 14 days.

The government's website says the guidelines are in place because of a "world-wide shortage" of equipment.

Mrs Barlow said that someone's being asked to stay at home was not a confirmation that he had contracted the virus.

"Government guidelines are that anyone experiencing cold and flu-like symptoms are being asked to self-isolate.

"We're just trying to continue business as usual."

There are four confirmed COVID-19 cases in Central Queensland, all in Rockhampton.

Dr Ewen McPhee of Emerald Medical Group recently said in a Facebook post that people should still act as if the virus were active.

"Reducing transmission by following social distancing and self-isolation is our best chance of flattening the trajectory of growth of the virus," he said.

"Use common sense and care for others and the elderly. If we get this right it will save many lives."

Some resident Samaritans are offering help to the needy.

People can call the State Government hotline on 13 HEALTH or the Emerald Medical Group for more information.


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