Health authorities to conduct testing sweep of Palm Island

Queensland Health will conduct a testing blitz on Palm Island off the far north coast this morning, after detecting traces of Covid-19 in the sewage.

The positive results were picked up earlier this week, but authorities are taking the precautionary step to make sure there are no active cases on the island.

“As always, the fragments could either indicate the presence of an undiagnosed case of COVID-19 in the community or that a case who is no longer infectious is still shedding fragments of the virus,” Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young said.


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“It is likely it is a persistent shedder who’s attended the island and may or may not still be there, but we must be absolutely cautious, and get people with symptoms tested as soon as possible.

“The Townsville Hospital and Health Service will be sending a team out to roll out the testing of symptomatic people starting 9am.

“Anyone with even the mildest of symptoms should come forward to be tested and minimise their movements until they get a negative result,” she said.

While the island is situated in Far North Queensland, anyone who may have been there recently is also being urged to get tested if they have any symptoms.

“It’s really important that anyone who has had been on Palm Island and is no longer there gets themselves tested as well if they have any symptoms,” Doctor Young said.

“I’m pleased to say 80 per cent of First Nations people aged 16 or older on Palm Island are vaccinated with at least one dose, and 35 per cent have had two doses.

“Residents aged 12 or older who have not yet been vaccinated can access their first dose on 31 August, when the outreach team heads back to island.

“As always, anyone in Queensland with any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild, please get tested as soon as possible,” she said.

A list of testing facilities are listed at www.qld.gov.au/covid19testing.