A shortage of health care workers is behind the numerous testing clinic closures on the Gold Coast as the state prepares to stand up more testing clinics.
Despite thousands of people lining up for tests before dawn this morning, many were turned away from 4Cyte centres around 7.00 am.
It’s caused enormous pressure for the remain centres and the Gold Coast University Hospital and Robina Health Precinct.
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The state government says that private pathology providers will stand up another six testing clinics over the next few days to try and deal with the increase in capacity.
“They will open six more private pathology sites this week from Wednesday from Friday, in Ashgrove, Boondall, Edens Landing, Cleveland, Indoorapilly, Wilston and Bundall,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in Wednesday’s Covid update.
“Most of them though, will only be open until lunchtime.
“We do need to see more testing sites but as everyone can appreciate, this is an issue that is not just happening in Queensland, it’s happening in New South Wales and it’s happening in Victoria,” the Premier said.
It comes as two major testing sites on the Gold Coast cut off their lines, after reaching capacity just two hours after opening.
While various other private pathology sites have been closed for the last few days despite cars still lining up in the hopes that they will open.
Queensland’s Health Minister Yvette D’Ath says there are multiple reasons for some clinics being shut, including staff shortages.
“We know this is a challenge across the country.
“We know that health care workers is a real problem right now both for testing and for our hospitals as well, particularly because of the number of positive staff and those who are needing to quarantine as close contacts.
“We also have issues with the private pathologists shifting away from the way they’ve been testing in Queensland which has been that they’ve tested in blocks.
“They’ve been able to take whole batches and they test the whole batch to see if anything is positive in that batch and if there is a positive they individually tested.
“That works very well when you know the majority of the people coming forward are negative.
“But now that we have such a large number of positive cases coming forward, the private pathologists are having to shift to doing individual tests.
“That’s reduced their testing capacity by about 50 percent,” Minister D’Ath said.
It comes as the state records another 6,781 cases overnight, meaning there are now over 32,000 active cases throughout the state.
29,418 tests were conducted yesterday.
Chief Health Officer John Gerrard says there is still a very low amount of people who are very sick from the virus, which is good.
Meantime, the Gold Coast has been called out for slacking on the mask rules.