WIDE Bay Hospital and Health Service staff who’ve been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 are returning to frontline hospital duties following the closure of the region’s fever clinics.
The Hervey Bay fever clinic administered its last test on Friday, while the Maryborough and Bundaberg fever clinics closed in August.
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More than 150,500 COVID-19 tests were administered at Wide Bay fever clinics since March 2020.
The service said the closure of the clinics reflected the work hospital staff have conducted in supporting the community response to the pandemic and the transition to living with COVID-19.
Chief Executive Debbie Carroll praised nursing, administrative, pathology pharmacy, operational and medical staff who served on the frontline of the COVID-19 response as well as the efforts of those who worked behind the scenes to ensure it was operating safely.
“I wish to thank all our WBHHS team members who have contributed to the operations of our fever clinics and our rural centres – your service to our community has been truly outstanding,” Ms Carroll said.
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“Running these clinics has required significant logistical, administrative and operational efforts from many hardworking individuals, among those were the testing staff wearing PPE each and every day for hours on end to test people for COVID-19 no matter the weather conditions.
“It has been a truly challenging and often fatiguing time for our staff, but they remained committed, they have stood up and helped keep our community as safe as possible throughout the pandemic.”
As per the advice of Queensland Health, people have been moving towards rapid antigen testing (RAT) which saw volumes at fever clinics slow.
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“It is now time to reallocate our staff and resources back to frontline duties in our hospitals,” Ms Carroll said.
“We’re all now living with COVID-19 in the community, we’re currently seeing fluctuations in cases, but there is now broad availability of RAT and PCR testing across the community.
To find your local range of COVID-19 testing options, click here.
“Testing is now easily available in community settings, with multiple options available if you’re feeling unwell. If you need a RAT test, visit your local pharmacy or supermarket. For those who hold concession cards, WBHHS continues to provide free RATs at Queensland Health RAT distribution points.”
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