The multi-purpose health service at Alpha in central Queensland has gone into a temporary lockdown and 23 staff members have been quarantined, following news that staff were exposed to an unwell COVID-positive community member on Wednesday.
According to Central West Hospital and Health Service chief executive Anthony West, the person, who presented to the service for care, was transferred by the Queensland Ambulance Service to Emerald Hospital for further care.
The staff members were quarantined as a precaution and replacement staff from other facilities were rushed to Alpha late on Wednesday to undertake a deep clean of the facility and to care for four aged care residents and one respite resident.
Mr West said all five were well and being managed as normal but will be in quarantine for a week.
"All quarantining staff and the aged care residents will be tested according to current protocols before coming out of quarantine in a week's time," he said.
"Central West Health is in contact with all staff and aged care resident families and providing support and information to them as required.
"Once the facility is deep cleaned, we hope to have the Alpha MPHS back in operation as soon as possible."
He said temporary staff would then continue to staff the MPHS until such time as the permanent staff are cleared to return to work.
There are currently 12 staff at Alpha, equivalent to a full normal day shift.
While Alpha is in lockdown, local residents are being directed to seek emergency care if required through the 000 system.
Alpha residents who have GP or other consultations scheduled at the MPHS over the next week are being contacted to have their appointments rescheduled.
In the meantime, people who are symptomatic or who have been advised they are a close contact by Queensland Health can access COVID-19 testing by appointment at the MPHS, via drive-through means in the ambulance bay.
People are urged to only attend after they have been given an appointment time by a Queensland Health officer, by phoning 07 4809 7023.
"We understand that community members may be anxious," Mr West said.
"Please be reassured that every person that needs to be tested will be tested.
"If you call the number and the phone is busy, please try again periodically until you can get through."
There are currently 58 active cases of COVID in the central west region, three fewer than Wednesday.
In south west Queensland, there are 179 active cases, 15 more than Wednesday, while the north west has 335 positive cases, two of which were reported in the last 24 hours.
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