As I write these words on Thursday, March 26 the latest information from Queensland Health tells me the following:
Queensland has 46 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) raising the state total to 443, with a second death in Toowoomba.
There remains none in the North West Hospital and Health Service area despite dozens of feverish and irresponsible suggestions to the contrary on social media.
Please, if it is not a reputable source, do not repeat silly rumours.
That is not to say COVID-19 won't come to North West Queensland.
The caseload is spreading out from southeast Queensland and Cairns and Hinterland has 10 cases, Mackay four, Rockhampton 5, Darling Downs 16, Townsville 6 and Wide Bay 7.
Contact tracing is underway for the 46 new cases. Queensland Health will notify the community if any other public health alerts are required.
The majority of cases are from patients who have travelled overseas, or have had direct contact with a confirmed case who had travelled overseas.
The number of confirmed cases we see each day is expected to vary as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 situation across the state.
North West Queensland Hospitals have now closed to all non-essential patients and visitors, in line with the Federal Government COVID-19 restrictions.
NWHHS chief executive Karen Murphy and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health executive director Christine Mann addressed the region through a Facebook video on Wednesday March 25, announcing the closure effective from midnight.
While there remains no COVID-19 cases in the North West, Ms Murphy said the closure of all North West Hospitals was essential to the Prime Minister's virus requirements.
"So as you are all aware we are in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic and all of the staff and supporting organisations associated with NWHHS have been working very hard behind the scenes in the last 3-4 weeks, to make sure what we are doing here is protecting you as the public," Ms Murphy said